NIAID scientists were the first to identify human rotavirus in the United States and began what would be a decades-long effort to develop a vaccine. Read more about it.
The majority of rotavirus disease is caused by five serotypes: G1, G2, G3, G4 and G9. Today, vaccines are available to protect against one or more of these different strains. The vaccines offer 90 to 100 percent protection against severe rotavirus diarrhea. Efficacy has been demonstrated primarily in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, but studies are needed in Asia and Africa.
Current research efforts are directed at improving the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines across more serotypes and further decreasing unwanted side effects of vaccination. If successful, a less expensive vaccine that is more widely acceptable should result. NIAID-supported researchers are also exploring newer vaccine technologies to develop more broadly protective vaccines and vaccines better tolerated by people with weakened immune systems. The technologies include using DNA vaccines, synthetic viral proteins, and virus-like particles produced in insect cells.
For more information about rotavirus vaccine research taking place at NIAID, read about the Rotavirus Vaccine Development Section in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases.
Efforts of NIAID Scientists Led to First Licensed Rotavirus Vaccine
Last Updated September 27, 2010
Last Reviewed June 11, 2010