In 2006 two rotavirus vaccines were licensed for use in young children in Europe. This study aimed to estimate the mortality and hospital admissions due to rotavirus in children aged <5 years in the WHO European region using data from routine sources and published literature. We grouped 49/52 countries in the region by their World Bank Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. We obtained for children aged <5 years: populations, hospital discharges for diarrhoeal disease, estimated mortality rates and the percentage of deaths attributable to diarrhoeal disease, from WHO data sources or published literature, and combined them to estimate country-specific diarrhoeal disease mortality. Rotavirus-attributable percentages of hospital admissions due to diarrhoeal disease were obtained through a literature search, and an income-group median applied to countries in each GNI category. In the countries we studied in the WHO European region, rotavirus infection causes an estimated 6550 deaths (range 5671-8989) and 146 287 (range 38 374-1 039 843) hospital admissions each year in children aged <5 years. Hospital admission rates were similar across income groups (medians 2.0, 2.8, 4.2 and 1.9/1000 per year in low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries, respectively). Seven countries, mostly in the low- and lower-middle-income groups, accounted for 93% of estimated deaths. Disease burden varied dramatically by income level in the European region. Rotavirus vaccination in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey could potentially prevent 80% of all regional rotavirus deaths. Data from low-income countries is still sparse, and improved disease burden studies are required to better inform regional vaccine policy.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Rotavirus gastroenteritis