MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Kirsten Perrett MBBS FRACP PhD
Team Leader / Clinician-Scientist Fellow, Population Allergy, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Consultant Paediatrician, Department of Allergy and Immunology and General Medicine
The Royal Children’s Hospital
Fellow, School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne
Parkville, Victoria Australia
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Before rotavirus vaccines were available, rotavirus infection was the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children. Because it is so contagious, infection in childhood is thought to be universal in unvaccinated children.
Previous studies indicated that rotavirus infection of infants might be an environmental promoter of type 1 diabetes. Therefore, we anticipated that the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine might alter the disease incidence in young children.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We examined the incidence of type 1 diabetes in Australian children before and after the oral rotavirus vaccine was introduced onto the Australian National Immunisation Program in 2007. We found that the incidence of type 1 diabetes decreased in 0-4 year-olds following the introduction of the vaccine. This is consistent with the hypothesis that oral rotavirus vaccine may be protective against the development of type 1 diabetes in early childhood.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: These findings are preliminary. At this stage, the take home message for parents is to ensure that their children are fully immunised. All infants <6 months of age are recommended to receive a course of oral rotavirus vaccine as per their local immunisation recommendations.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The current findings have prompted us to perform a case-control linkage study to further explore the association between rotavirus vaccination and type 1 diabetes incidence in Australian children. The case-control linkage study will or will not provide the strongest epidemiological evidence for an association between rotavirus vaccination and a decrease in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in Australia.
Dr. Perrett is supported by a Melbourne Children’s Clinician-Scientist Fellowship.
Perrett KP, Jachno K, Nolan TM, Harrison LC. Association of Rotavirus Vaccination With the Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in Children. JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 22, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4578