Abstract Title:

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and rotavirus vaccination: reports to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

Abstract Source:

Vaccine. 2010 Sep 14 ;28(40):6609-12. Epub 2010 Jul 30. PMID: 20674876

Abstract Author(s):

Nyasha Bakare, David Menschik, Rosemary Tiernan, Wei Hua, David Martin

Article Affiliation:

Nyasha Bakare


BACKGROUND: Rotavirus vaccines are the only live vaccines recommended for infants in the US. Postmarketing reports have described severe gastroenteritis with vaccine viral shedding in infants who received rotavirus vaccine and were later diagnosed with SCID. The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved labeling changes for RotaTeq and Rotarix contraindicating administration to individuals with a history of SCID. We queried VAERS to characterize reports of SCID after rotavirus vaccination.

METHODS: VAERS inclusion criteria included current US-licensed rotavirus vaccines, report dates from February 3, 2006 to January 15, 2010, and queries for the MedDRA preferred term"combined immunodeficiency"as well as any text containing the terms,"SCID"or"combined immunodeficiency."

RESULTS: We identified nine reports of SCID and rotavirus vaccination in infants between 3 and 9 months of age. All but one case presented with diarrhea among other symptoms. All infants were hospitalized and had workups leading to the SCID diagnosis. Stool rotavirus testing was positive in all cases and the virus was identified as the vaccine strain in six cases. Prolonged viral shedding was documented in five cases. No deaths were reported.

CONCLUSION: The aforementioned labeling changes were warranted given the risk posed by live rotavirus vaccine to individuals with SCID, as illustrated by these VAERS cases. Although congenital, SCID was not diagnosed in these infants until after rotavirus vaccination. Earlier identification of SCID (e.g., from expanded newborn screening or heightened clinical vigilance) could prevent inadvertent live rotavirus vaccine administration and also potentially result in earlier life-saving stem cell transplants.

Study Type : Human Study

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Sayer Ji
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