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Human Cytomegalovirus Seropositivity and Its Influence on Oral Rotavirus Vaccine Immunogenicity: A Specific Concern for HIV-Exposed-Uninfected Infants.

Oral rotavirus vaccines demonstrate diminished immunogenicity in low-income settings where human cytomegalovirus infection is aquired early in childhood and modulates immunity. We hypothesized that human cytomegalovirus infection around the time of vaccination may influence immunogenicity. We measured plasma human cytomegalovirus specific immunoglobulin M antibodies in rotavirus vaccinated infants from 6 weeks to 12 months old and compared rotavirus immunoglobulin A antibody titres between human cytomegalovirus seropositive and seronegative infants. There was no evidence of an association between human cytomegalovirus serostatus at 9 months and rotavirus specific antibody titres at 12 months (geometric mean ratio 1.01, 95%CI: 0.70,1.45; p=0.976) or fold-increase in RV-IgA titre between 9 and 12 months (risk ratio 0.999, 95%CI: 0.66,1.52; p=0.995) overall. However, HIV-exposed-uninfected infants who were seropositive for human cytomegalovirus at 9 months old had a 63% reduction in rotavirus antibody geometric mean titres at 12 months compared to HIV-exposed-uninfected infants who were seronegative for human cytomegalovirus (geometric mean ratio 0.37, 95%CI: 0.17, 0.77; p=0.008). While the broader implications of human cytomegalovirus infections on oral rotavirus vaccine response might be limited in the general infant population, the potential impact in the HIV-exposed-uninfected infants cannot be overlooked. This study highlights the complexity of immunological responses and the need for targeted interventions to ensure oral rotavirus vaccine efficacy, especially in vulnerable subpopulations.

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