U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

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

Pitzer, Virginia E., Viboud, Cécile, Simonsen, Lone, Steiner, Claudia, Panozzo, Catherine A., Alonso, Wladimir J., Miller, Mark A., Glass, Roger I., Glasser, John W., Parashar, Umesh D., Grenfell, Bryan T.
Science 2009 v.325 no.5938 pp. 290-294
Rotavirus, autumn, birth rate, disease outbreaks, models, spatial variation, temporal variation, vaccination, United States
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.