Objective: Although many HIV-infected (HIV+) and HIV-exposed but uninfected (HEU) infants have received live rotavirus vaccines since the WHO recommended universal administration of these vaccines to infants, there has been limited prospective information on their safety and immunogenicity in either group of infants.
Design/methods: We performed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of the safety and immunogenicity of oral pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) administered to HIV+ and HEU infants in four African countries. Ninety-three percent of HIV+ infants were receiving antiretroviral therapy prior to vaccination. Participants were followed for safety. Immune responses were measured 14 days after three doses of RV5, including serum antirotavirus neutralizing and IgA antibodies, IgA antibody in stool, and antirotavirus memory B and T-cell FluoroSpot. Shedding of RV5 in stool was monitored.
Results: A total of 76 HIV+ and 126 HEU infants were enrolled from 2009 to 2013. No significant differences were found in adverse event rates, including grade 3 events, between RV5 and placebo recipients, for either HIV+ or HEU infants. The proportion of antirotavirus IgA responders (at least three-fold increase from baseline) after RV5 administration was 81% in both HIV+ and HEU infants, which was approximately 2.5-fold higher than in placebo recipients (P < 0.001). Neutralizing antibody responses to three of five serotypes were significantly higher after RV5 regardless of HIV status, and those of HIV+ infants were equal or greater than responses of HEU infants to all five serotypes. Only one HIV+ RV5 recipient had RV5 isolated from stool.
Conclusion: RV5 was immunogenic in both HIV+ and HEU infants and no safety signals were observed.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00880698.