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Demographic Variability, Vaccination, and the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Rotavirus Epidemics

Virginia E. Pitzer, Cécile Viboud, Lone Simonsen, Claudia Steiner, Catherine A. Panozzo, Wladimir J. Alonso, Mark A. Miller, Roger I. Glass, John W. Glasser, Umesh D. Parashar and Bryan T. Grenfell
Science
New Series, Vol. 325, No. 5938 (Jul. 17, 2009), pp. 290-294
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20536641
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

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.

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