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Wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus circulation, and implications for polio eradication

  • P. L. LOPALCO (a1)

Summary

Polio cases due to wild virus are reported by only three countries in the world. Poliovirus type 2 has been globally eradicated and the last detection of poliovirus type 3 dates to November 2012. Poliovirus type 1 remains the only circulating wild strain; between January and September 2016 it caused 26 cases (nine in Afghanistan, 14 in Pakistan, three in Nigeria). The use of oral polio vaccine (OPV) has been the key to success in the eradication effort. However, paradoxically, moving towards global polio eradication, the burden caused by vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) becomes increasingly important. In this paper circulation of both wild virus and VDPVs is reviewed and implications for the polio eradication endgame are discussed. Between April and May 2016 OPV2 cessation has been implemented globally, in a coordinated switch from trivalent OPV to bivalent OPV. In order to decrease the risk for cVDPV2 re-emergence inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) has been introduced in the routine vaccine schedule of all countries. The likelihood of re-emergence of cVDPVs should markedly decrease with time after OPV cessation, but silent circulation of polioviruses cannot be ruled out even a long time after cessation. For this reason, immunity levels against polioviruses should be kept as high as possible in the population by the use of IPV, and both clinical and environmental surveillance should be maintained at a high level.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr P. L. Lopalco, Via San Zeno 35, 56123 Pisa, Italy. (Email: pierluigi.lopalco@unipi.it)

References

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