Background. This study was conducted to assess the transmissibility of rotavirus vaccine strains after rotavirus vaccination in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods. Pentavalent (RV5) or monovalent (RV1) rotavirus vaccine was administered to infants admitted to the NICU. Nineteen vaccinated infants and 49 unvaccinated infants whose beds were located in close proximity to the vaccinated infants were enrolled in this study. Dissemination and fecal shedding of vaccine viruses within the NICU were examined using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Results. Shedding of the vaccine strain was detected in all 19 vaccinated infants. RV5 virus shedding started 1 day after the first vaccination and persisted for 8 days after the first vaccination, and viral shedding terminated by day 5 after administration of the second RV5 dose. The kinetics of RV1 virus shedding differed among vaccinated infants. The duration of RV1 virus shedding was longer after the first vaccination than after the second vaccination. In contrast to the vaccinated infants, no vaccine virus genomes were detected in any of the stool samples collected from the 49 unvaccinated infants. Conclusions. This study is direct evidence of no transmission of rotavirus vaccine strains between vaccinated infants and unvaccinated infants in close proximity within a NICU.
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