Rotavirus vaccines (RVVs) have substantially diminished mortality from severe rotavirus (RV) gastroenteritis but are significantly less effective in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), limiting their life-saving potential. The etiology of RVV's diminished effectiveness remains incompletely understood, but the enteric microbiota has been implicated in modulating immunity to RVVs. Here, we analyze the enteric microbiota in a longitudinal cohort of 122 Ghanaian infants, evaluated over the course of 3 Rotarix vaccinations between 6 and 15 weeks of age, to assess whether bacterial and viral populations are distinct between non-seroconverted and seroconverted infants. We identify bacterial taxa including Streptococcus and a poorly classified taxon in Enterobacteriaceae as positively correlating with seroconversion. In contrast, both bacteriophage diversity and detection of Enterovirus B and multiple novel cosaviruses are negatively associated with RVV seroconversion. These findings suggest that virome-RVV interference is an underappreciated cause of poor vaccine performance in LMICs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-123.e5
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 12 2022


  • bacteriophage
  • immunization
  • metagenomic sequencing
  • microbiome
  • microbiota
  • phageome
  • rotavirus vaccine performance
  • transkingdom interaction
  • vaccination
  • viral bacterial co-infection


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