CSIRO has been contracted by the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) to produce antibodies on a large scale that will be used in the development of a new, safe, affordable and effective vaccination against rotavirus, a major cause of severe and fatal diarrhoea in young children worldwide.


The disease currently kills an estimated half a million children each year, 85 per cent of whom live in developing countries. The virus is one of the most common causes of hospital admissions for children under five in Australia.


PATH, an international not-for-profit organisation, is working to increase access and effectiveness of existing rotavirus vaccines. CSIRO will produce a large quantity of antibodies that will be used in PATH’s ongoing global vaccination campaign.


"CSIRO will produce a large quantity of antibodies specific to the strains of rotavirus that are in the vaccines our partners are developing, which will serve as important material for our project," said Dr Georges Thiry, director of PATH’s rotavirus vaccine development project.


"New vaccines and suppliers will increase the availability of rotavirus vaccines and increase competition, which in turn will help make all of the rotavirus vaccines on the market more affordable and accessible to the world’s most vulnerable children."