Rotavirus (RV) is a major vaccine-preventable killer of young children worldwide. Two RV vaccines are globally commercially available and other vaccines are in different stages of development. Due to the absence of a suitable correlate of protection (CoP), all RV vaccine efficacy trials have had clinical endpoints. These trials represent an important challenge since RV vaccines have to be introduced in many different settings, placebo-controlled studies are unethical due to the availability of licensed vaccines, and comparator assessments for new vaccines with clinical endpoints are very large, complex, and expensive to conduct. A CoP as a surrogate endpoint would allow predictions of vaccine efficacy for new RV vaccines and enable a regulatory pathway, contributing to the more rapid development of new RV vaccines. The goal of this review is to summarize experiences from RV natural infection and vaccine studies to evaluate potential CoP for use as surrogate endpoints for assessment of new RV vaccines, and to explore challenges and opportunities in the field.
- Correlates of protection