Demographic variability, vaccination, and the spatiotemporal dynamics of rotavirus epidemics

Virginia E. Pitzer, Cecile Viboud, Lone Simonsen, Claudia Steiner, Catherine A. Panozzo, Wladimir Alonso, Mark A. Miller, Roger I. Glass, John W. Glasser, Umesh D. Parashar, Bryan T. Grenfell

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Historically, annual rotavirus activity in the United States has started in the southwest in late fall and ended in the northeast 3 months later; this trend has diminished in recent years. Traveling waves of infection or local environmental drivers cannot account for these patterns. A transmission model calibrated against epidemiological data shows that spatiotemporal variation in birth rate can explain the timing of rotavirus epidemics. The recent large-scale introduction of rotavirus vaccination provides a natural experiment to further test the impact of susceptible recruitment on disease dynamics. The model predicts a pattern of reduced and lagged epidemics postvaccination, closely matching the observed dynamics. Armed with this validated model, we explore the relative importance of direct and indirect protection, a key issue in determining the worldwide benefits of vaccination.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number5938
Pages (from-to)290-294
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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