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WHO IB-VPD & Rotavirus Surveillance Bulletin, April 2016

Dear Colleagues,
We are happy to introduce an updated WHO Surveillance Bulletin. We’ve transformed the bulletin into an electronic format, and we are changing our bi-annual reporting to April and October to reflect when surveillance data are available. The bulletin still presents a summary of case-based Invasive Bacterial Vaccine-Preventable Disease and Rotavirus Surveillance Network data from all six WHO Regions, and will now include data from 2013 onward. In the future, we hope to increase the frequency of these bulletins and include other vaccine-preventable disease surveillance that is ongoing at WHO. 

Our new e-bulletin looks great on many computers, but some email programs have trouble viewing the graphics. If this is the case, please change your settings to allow image download or view our bulletin in your browser (instructions here). We would appreciate any feedback on our new bulletin. If you would like to unsubscribe at any time, please use the link in the email at the bottom. Please also feel free to forward to other interested parties or share on social media.
We hope you enjoy the new bulletin!
The WHO Vaccine-Preventable Disease Surveillance team

In 2015, the WHO Global Rotavirus Surveillance Network had data reported from 52 member states and 110 sentinel surveillance hospitals.
Complete surveillance and laboratory data for 2015 will be received in July 2016. Decreases between 2014 and 2015 seen in the figures below may not reflect trends in disease, but rather the time lag in collecting the surveillance data. 
In 2015, the WHO Global Invasive Bacterial Vaccine Preventable Disease (IB-VPD) Surveillance Network had data reported from 54 member states and 116 sentinel surveillance hospitals.
Complete surveillance and laboratory data for 2015 will be received in July 2016. Decreases between 2014 and 2015 seen in the figures below may not reflect trends in disease, but rather the time lag in collecting the surveillance data. 
Enteric Pathogens TAC Phase 1 Study

In 2014, 45,320 cases of diarrhea in children <5 years of age were reported in the WHO RV network. Nearly a third (31%) of these cases tested positive for rotavirus, but the cause of diarrhea in the remaining cases was unknown. In fact, there is limited knowledge about the causes of childhood diarrhea in much of the world. This study leveraged a novel diagnostic test, the TaqMan Array Card (TAC), to test specimens gathered as part of the surveillance network for more than 25 enteric pathogens other than rotavirus. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and partners at the University of Virginia and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TAC laboratory testing capacity was built at 5 regional references laboratories globally. More than 1200 specimens were tested from 11 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The first phase of the project was completed in 2015 and showed that this novel diagnostic testing platform could be used successfully in many laboratories globally to identify the causes of diarrhea in children. Rotavirus, norovirus, Shigella, and E. coli were among the most common causes of diarrhea in children, which suggests that vaccines can be an effective tool to lower the global burden of diarrhea in children.

Enteric Fever Surveillance Pilot

WHO, in collaboration with the respective national governments and IB-VPD sentinel sites, is carrying out a one-year pilot to assess the feasibility of integrating surveillance of enteric fever and invasive non-typhoidal salmonella disease in the IB-VPD Network. The pilot is currently being conducted in three countries – Bangladesh, India  and Ghana – and will conclude in mid-2017. The focus of the pilot is on typhoid fever (for which licensed vaccines are available and introduction of the next generation conjugate vaccines is anticipated in the near term), however data will also be collected on paratyphoid fever and other invasive salmonella infections. Surveillance in this pilot is primarily based on the methods established in the IB-VPD surveillance network, specifically hospital-based blood culture confirmation of suspect cases in children aged up to 15 years of age. This pilot addresses one of the recommendations of the 2013 strategic review of the IB-VPD network to examine how the network can be leveraged for surveillance of other vaccine preventable diseases. A formal evaluation of the pilot will be conducted in 2017 and recommendations made to the technical advisory group for consideration.


For a detailed listing of ongoing Rotavirus and Pneumonia impact studies, visit VIEW-Hub. VIEW-Hub is an interactive information system on vaccine-related projects managed by the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  

Selected Network Publications from 2016

Effect of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine introduction on hospital admissions for diarrhoea and rotavirus in children in Rwanda: a time-series analysis
The Lancet Global Health, 2016:4(2):e129-e136. 
View online

Global, regional, and national estimates of rotavirus mortality in children <5 years of age, 2000–2013
Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2016;62(S2):S96-105
View online

Rotavirus surveillance at a WHO-coordinated invasive bacterial disease surveillance site in Bangladesh: A feasibility study to integrate two surveillance systems
PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153582
View online

Impact of rotavirus vaccination on diarrheal hospitalizations in children aged <5 years in Lusaka, Zambia
Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2016;62(S2):S183-7
View online 

Impact and effectiveness of monovalent rotavirus vaccine against severe rotavirus diarrhea in Ghana
Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2016;62(S2):S200-7
View online

Effectiveness of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine under conditions of routine use in Rwanda
Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2016;62(S2):S208-12
View online

Early evidence of impact of monovalent rotavirus vaccine in Togo
Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2016;62(S2):S196-199
View online

The economic burden attributable to a child's inpatient admission for diarrheal disease in Rwanda
PLoS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0149805
View online

Weekly Email Update on Vaccine-Related Literature 

The International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins University conducts a weekly Pubmed literature search on the following antigens: pneumococcus, rotavirus, Hib, meningococcus and HPV. The general topics included in the search for the above listed antigens are disease burden, vaccine impact, vaccine introductions, vaccine programs and optimization, and economics.  The recurring search began in 2013 to keep partners up to date on emerging literature and findings. IVAC has made this literature search more accessible in an effort to reach larger audiences with up to date research and findings on important vaccine antigens. You can subscribe here: 

Upcoming Meetings and Events

10th International Symposium on Pneumococci & Pneumococcal Diseases, June 26th - 30th, 2016 - Glasgow, Scotland

12th International Rotavirus Symposium, 7-9 September 2016 - Melbourne, Australia

WHO New Vaccine Surveillance Poster


WHO gratefully acknowledges the dedicated efforts of the numerous individuals and organizations involved with compiling this surveillance information, including Ministries of Health, sentinel hospitals, as well as the network of global, regional and national reference laboratories. WHO also gratefully acknowledges the financial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, that is provided to eligible countries and additional support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or reply to this email for questions and feedback on the bulletin. Feel free to share with colleagues, friends and on social media!