Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrheal disease in children worldwide and accounts for 37 percent of the 760,000 global child deaths attributable to diarrhea. Ninety-five percent of these deaths occur in developing countries. Rotavirus disease cannot be treated with antibiotics or other drugs, and most children are at risk of infection regardless of hygiene practices or access to clean water. Vaccination offers the best hope for preventing severe rotavirus illness. In 2009, the World Health Organization recommended that all countries include rotavirus vaccines in their national immunization programs. Currently, two vaccines against the disease are licensed for use and several more are in development.
Rotaviruses: Cause of Vaccine-Preventable Disease Yet Many Fundamental Questions Remain to Be Explored (2012)
An editorial that details the molecular structure and pathogenesis of rotavirus and outlines important areas for further research of current rotavirus vaccines.
Rotavirus Vaccines: WHO Position Paper - January 2013 (2013)
An article that reaffirms the World Health Organization's (WHO's) recommendation for rotavirus vaccines to be included in all national immunization programs and addresses the use of more flexible immunization schedules.
Featured PATH resources
Rotavirus Disease and Vaccines in Ghana (2013)
A fact sheet that provides an overview of rotavirus disease and vaccines in Ghana.
Exploring New, Non-replicating Rotavirus Vaccines (2013)
A fact sheet that summarizes the technical efforts and objectives of PATH's non-replicating rotavirus vaccine development project.
More About Rotavirus (2012)
A web page that provides links to PATH's work on rotavirus, as well as general information about the disease and the current vaccine landscape.
Page last updated: February 2013.