• infant;
  • rotavirus vaccination;
  • short gut syndrome

Aim:  Universal vaccination with an oral live-attenuated rotavirus vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months of age was introduced in Australia in July 2007. There are no data on the short-term effects of vaccination for those infants most at risk of severe complications from rotavirus infection. The aim of this study was to describe the effects of rotavirus vaccination on weight gain and gastrointestinal losses in infants with functional short gut syndrome secondary to an ileostomy.

Methods:  A retrospective review of all infants with an ileostomy who received RotaTeq while hospitalised at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne from July 2007 to July 2009 was performed. Daily data were collected from 1 week before to 2 weeks after vaccination. The data included type and volume of feeds, ileostomy losses, need for fluid replacement of ileostomy losses, weight, temperature, urine sodium, stool culture, suspected and confirmed sepsis.

Results:  Nine infants (age at first RotaTeq 61–99 days) were identified. The median (range) gestational age was 26 (24, 38) completed weeks and birthweight was 737 (620, 2714) grams. Compared to the day of vaccination, the median (range) ileostomy losses 1 week before, 1 and 2 weeks after vaccination were −1.1 (−13.6, 4.9) mL/kg/day, 2 (−11.1, 25.0) mL/kg/day and 2.4 (−15.7, 27.2) mL/kg/day, respectively. One infant developed severe stomal losses after vaccination. Overall, rotavirus vaccination did not alter weight gain, temperature or urinary sodium.

Conclusion:  In this small series, oral live-attenuated rotavirus vaccination of infants with high-output ileostomy was tolerated in most cases.