Pediatric respiratory and enteric virus acquisition and immunogenesis in US mothers and children aged 0-2: PREVAIL cohort study

Ardythe L. Morrow, Mary A. Staat, Emily A. DeFranco, Monica M. McNeal, Allison R. Cline, Shannon C. Conrey, Elizabeth P. Schlaudecker, Alexandra M. Piasecki, Rachel M. Burke, Liang Niu, Aron J. Hall, Michael D. Bowen, Susan I. Gerber, Gayle E. Langley, Natalie J. Thornburg, Angela P. Campbell, Jan Vinjé, Umesh D. Parashar, Daniel C. Payne

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10 Scopus citations


Background: Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and acute respiratory infections (ARIs) cause significant pediatric morbidity and mortality. Developing childhood vaccines against major enteric and respiratory pathogens should be guided by the natural history of infection and acquired immunity. The United States currently lacks contemporary birth cohort data to guide vaccine development. Objective: The PREVAIL (Pediatric Respiratory and Enteric Virus Acquisition and Immunogenesis Longitudinal) Cohort study was undertaken to define the natural history of infection and immune response to major pathogens causing AGE and ARI in US children. Methods: Mothers in Cincinnati, Ohio, were enrolled in their third trimester of pregnancy, with intensive child follow-up to 2 years. Blood samples were obtained from children at birth (cord), 6 weeks, and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Whole stool specimens and midturbinate nasal swabs were collected weekly and tested by multipathogen molecular assays. Saliva, meconium, maternal blood, and milk samples were also collected. AGE (≥3 loose or watery stools or ≥1 vomiting episode within 24 hours) and ARI (cough or fever) cases were documented by weekly cell phone surveys to mothers via automated SMS text messaging and review of medical records. Immunization records were obtained from registries and providers. follow-up ended in October 2020. Pathogen-specific infections are defined by a PCR-positive sample or rise in serum antibody. Results: Of the 245 enrolled mother–child pairs, 51.8% (n=127) were White, 43.3% (n=106) Black, 55.9% (n=137) publicly insured, and 86.5% (n=212) initiated breastfeeding. Blood collection was 100.0% for mothers (n=245) and 85.7% for umbilical cord (n=210). A total of 194/245 (79.2%) mother–child pairs were compliant based on participation in at least 70% (≥71/102 study weeks) of child-weeks and providing 70% or more of weekly samples during that time, or blood samples at 18 or 24 months. Compliant participants (n=194) had 71.0% median nasal swab collection (IQR 30.0%-90.5%), with 98.5% (191/194) providing either an 18- or 24-month blood sample; median response to weekly SMS text message surveys was 95.1% (IQR 76.5%-100%). Compliant mothers reported 2.0 AGE and 4.5 ARI cases per child-year, of which 25.5% (160/627) and 38.06% (486/1277) of cases, respectively, were medically attended; 0.5% of AGE (3/627) and 0.55% of ARI (7/1277) cases were hospitalized. Conclusions: The PREVAIL Cohort demonstrates intensive follow-up to document the natural history of enteric and respiratory infections and immunity in children 0-2 years of age in the United States and will contribute unique data to guide vaccine recommendations. Testing for pathogens and antibodies is ongoing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22222
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Ardythe L Morrow, Mary A Staat, Emily A DeFranco, Monica M McNeal, Allison R Cline, Shannon C Conrey, Elizabeth P Schlaudecker, Alexandra M Piasecki, Rachel M Burke, Liang Niu, Aron J Hall, Michael D Bowen, Susan I Gerber, Gayle E Langley, Natalie J Thornburg, Angela P Campbell, Jan Vinjé, Umesh D Parashar, Daniel C Payne.


  • Birth cohort
  • Immunology
  • Influenza
  • Norovirus
  • Pediatrics
  • Rotavirus
  • RSV
  • Vaccine effectiveness
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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