Rotavirus is a major cause of death and disease in children worldwide. Despite clear evidence of the success of rotavirus vaccines, barriers remain to global implementation with over 94 million children still lacking access to a rotavirus vaccine. These barriers include sub-optimal efficacy in low-income settings, lingering safety concerns and cost. Administering a vaccine at birth has the potential to address these challenges.
RV3-BB vaccine is a novel vaccine developed from the human neonatal rotavirus strain, RV3 (G3P), identified in the stool of asymptomatic infants in Melbourne hospital nurseries in 1974-83. The intrinsic characteristics of RV3-BB make it an ideal candidate for a birth dose vaccination strategy. Administering an oral rotavirus vaccine at birth has potential to address challenges to the success of current rotavirus vaccines. The results of the pivotal efficacy study of the RV3-BB vaccine are about to be published. This study has been conducted in collaboration with investigators from Universitas Gajdah Mada in Yogyakarta Indonesia, representing a 42 year collaboration working towards a common goal – to develop a safe, affordable rotavirus vaccine to protect infants from rotavirus disease from birth in Indonesia and worldwide.
Professor Julie Bines, on behalf of the RV3 Rotavirus Progam, MCRI
Professor Bines is the Victor and Loti Smorgon Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne, Lead of the Rotavirus and Enteric Virus Groups at MCRI and Gastroenterologist and Head of Clinical Nutrition at the Royal Children’s Hospital. She trained in Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and was a Post-doctoral Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. Her initiation into research was in 1986 as a JRMO at RCH where she helped in a clinical trial of oral rehydration in children with acute diarrhoea led by Graeme Barnes. Over the past 15 years Julie has led the RV3 Vaccine Program at MCRI through clinical and vaccine development. She has served at WHO in various roles including as a member of the WHO Steering Committee of Enteric Vaccines, developed the WHO generic protocol rotavirus vaccine safety used worldwide and is currently working with WHO on defining the role of vaccines against antimicrobial resistance.