Introduction: A monovalent rotavirus vaccine was introduced in the Ethiopian Expanded Program on Immunization from November 2013. We compared impact of rotavirus vaccine introduction on rotavirus associated acute diarrhea hospitalizations and genotypic characteristics of rotavirus strains pre-and post-vaccine introduction. Methods: Sentinel surveillance for diarrhea among children <5 years of age was conducted at 3 hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 2011 to 2017. Stool specimens were collected from enrolled children and tested using an antigen capture enzyme immunoassay. Rotavirus positive samples (156 from pre- and 141 from post-vaccination periods) were further characterized by rotavirus genotyping methods to identify the predominant G and P types circulating during the surveillance era. Results: A total of 788 children were enrolled during the pre- (July 2011-June 2013) and 815 children during the post-vaccination (July 2014-June 2017) periods. The proportion of diarrhea hospitalizations due to rotavirus among children <5 years of age declined by 17% from 24% (188/788) in the pre-vaccine period and to 20% (161/185) in post-vaccine introduction era. Similarly, a reduction of 18% in proportion of diarrhea hospitalizations due to rotavirus in children <12 months of age in the post (27%) vs pre-vaccine (33%) periods was observed. Seasonal peaks of rotavirus declined following rotavirus vaccine introduction. The most prevalent circulating strains were G12P in 2011 (36%) and in 2012 (27%), G2P (35%) in 2013, G9P (19%) in 2014, G3P and G2P (19% each) in 2015, and G3P (29%) in 2016. Discussion: Following rotavirus vaccine introduction in Ethiopia, a reduction in rotavirus associated hospitalizations was seen in all age groups with the greatest burden in children <12 months of age. A wide variety of rotavirus strains circulated in the pre- and post-vaccine introduction periods.
- Ethiopian children
- Monovalent rotavirus vaccine