What is it about?

The landscape of rotavirus (RV) infection has changed substantially in recent years. Autoimmune triggering has been added to clinical spectrum of this pathology, which is now known to be much broader than diarrhea. The impact of RV vaccines in these other conditions is becoming a growing field of research. The importance of host genetic background in RV susceptibility has been revealed, therefore increasing our understanding of vaccine effectiveness and giving some clues about the limited efficacy of RV vaccines in low-income settings. Also, interaction of RV with intestinal microbiota seems to play a key role in the process of infection vaccine effect. This article reviews current findings on the extraintestinal impact of RV infection and their widening clinical picture, and the recently described mechanisms of host susceptibility to infection and vaccine effectiveness. RV infection is a systemic disease with clinical and pathophysiological implications beyond the gut. We propose an “iceberg” model for this pathology with almost hidden clinical implications away from the gastrointestinal tract and eventually triggering the development of autoimmune diseases. Impact of current vaccines is being influenced by host genetics and gut microbiota interactions and these factors must be taken into account in the development of public health programs.

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Why is it important?

Rotavirus infection is linked to several extraintestinal manifestations, mainly seizures and trigger for development of autoimmunity (celiac disease and type 1 diabetes) Impact of current vaccines on this new picture is now being dissected.


Rotavirus is more than a diarrhea. Viral dissemination is always present during infection and last evidences linked rotavirus with development of celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, proposing for rotavirus a role of trigger In the next years we will attend to studies on the impact of current vaccines on these extra intestinal manifestations. First evidences showed an heterologous positive impact of rotavirus vaccine on autoimmune development, in the same way as demonstrated for rotavirus-related seizures.

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

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This page is a summary of: Rotavirus infection beyond the gut, Infection and Drug Resistance, December 2018, Dove Medical Press,
DOI: 10.2147/idr.s186404.
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