To reduce disease burden and deaths due to enteric diseases.

The development of a novel human neonatal oral rotavirus vaccine (RV3-BB) is the culmination of over four decades of research in Australia by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne and the University of Melbourne, following the discovery of rotavirus by the team led by Professor Ruth Bishop in 1973.

The aim is to develop a safe, effective and affordable vaccine to protect babies from severe rotavirus disease from birth. RV3-BB vaccine has now been studied in adults, children, infants and newborns in trials conducted in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malawi, Africa. RV3-BB vaccine has been shown to be safe and produce a good immune response in babies and infants - the target population.

In Indonesia, where rotavirus causes over 8,000 deaths per year in children less than 5 years of age, our clinical trial showed that RV3-BB vaccine protected 95% of babies from severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in the first year of life and 75% of infants up to 18 months of age. This suggests that RV3-BB vaccine could have a significant impact if introduced in the routine immunisation program.

As a novel neonatal rotavirus vaccine delivered from birth, RV3-BB vaccine has the potential to address some of the key barriers to effective rotavirus immunisation and improve the safety and protection offered by a rotavirus vaccine.

Our group hosts the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Child Health, the WHO Rotavirus Regional Reference Laboratory for the Western-Pacific Region and the Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program.