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Concept: Poliomyelitis eradication


We examined the introduction of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and oral polio vaccine (OPV) in an urban community in Guinea-Bissau in the early 1980s.

Concepts: Vaccine, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Experiment, Introduction, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis


The WHO recommends complete withdrawal of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) Type 2 by April 2016 globally and replacing with at least one dose of Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV). However, high-cost, limited supply of IPV, persistent circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses transmission and need for subsequent boosters remain unresolved. To meet this critical need, a novel strategy of a low cost cold-chain free plant-made viral protein 1 (VP1) subunit oral booster vaccine after single IPV dose is reported. Codon optimization of the VP1 gene enhanced expression by 50-fold in chloroplasts. Oral boosting of VP1 expressed in plant cells with plant-derived adjuvants after single priming with IPV significantly increased VP1-IgG1 and VP1-IgA titers when compared to lower IgG1 or negligible IgA titers with IPV injections. IgA plays a pivotal role in polio eradication because of its transmission through contaminated water or sewer systems. Neutralizing antibody titers (~3.17-10.17 log2 titer) and serpositivity (70-90%) against all three poliovirus Sabin serotypes were observed with two doses of IPV and plant-cell oral boosters but single dose of IPV resulted in poor neutralization. Lyophilized plant cells expressing VP1 stored at ambient temperature maintained efficacy and preserved antigen folding/assembly indefinitely, thereby eliminating cold-chain currently required for all vaccines. Replacement of OPV with this booster vaccine and the next steps in clinical translation of FDA approved antigens and adjuvants are discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccine, Vaccination, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis, Poliovirus


There are currently huge efforts by the World Health Organization and partners to complete global polio eradication. With the significant decline in poliomyelitis cases due to wild poliovirus in recent years, rare cases related to the use of live-attenuated oral polio vaccine assume greater importance. Poliovirus strains in the oral vaccine are known to quickly revert to neurovirulent phenotype following replication in humans after immunisation. These strains can transmit from person to person leading to poliomyelitis outbreaks and can replicate for long periods of time in immunodeficient individuals leading to paralysis or chronic infection, with currently no effective treatment to stop excretion from these patients. Here, we describe an individual who has been excreting type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus for twenty eight years as estimated by the molecular clock established with VP1 capsid gene nucleotide sequences of serial isolates. This represents by far the longest period of excretion described from such a patient who is the only identified individual known to be excreting highly evolved vaccine-derived poliovirus at present. Using a range of in vivo and in vitro assays we show that the viruses are very virulent, antigenically drifted and excreted at high titre suggesting that such chronic excreters pose an obvious risk to the eradication programme. Our results in virus neutralization assays with human sera and immunisation-challenge experiments using transgenic mice expressing the human poliovirus receptor indicate that while maintaining high immunisation coverage will likely confer protection against paralytic disease caused by these viruses, significant changes in immunisation strategies might be required to effectively stop their occurrence and potential widespread transmission. Eventually, new stable live-attenuated polio vaccines with no risk of reversion might be required to respond to any poliovirus isolation in the post-eradication era.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Vaccine, Vaccination, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Poliomyelitis eradication, Poliovirus


Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is efficacious against paralytic disease, but its effect on mucosal immunity is debated. We assessed the efficacy of IPV in boosting mucosal immunity. Participants received IPV, bivalent 1 and 3 oral poliovirus vaccine (bOPV), or no vaccine. A bOPV challenge was administered 4 weeks later, and excretion was assessed 3, 7, and 14 days later. Nine hundred and fifty-four participants completed the study. Any fecal shedding of poliovirus type 1 was 8.8, 9.1, and 13.5% in the IPV group and 14.4, 24.1, and 52.4% in the control group by 6- to 11-month, 5-year, and 10-year groups, respectively (IPV versus control: Fisher’s exact test P < 0.001). IPV reduced excretion for poliovirus types 1 and 3 between 38.9 and 74.2% and 52.8 and 75.7%, respectively. Thus, IPV in OPV-vaccinated individuals boosts intestinal mucosal immunity.

Concepts: Vaccine, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Effectiveness, Fisher's exact test, Exact test, Poliomyelitis eradication, Poliovirus


Because oral polio vaccine has been associated with cases of paralysis, it is essential to discontinue its use after polio eradication has been certified. The first step is a shift from a trivalent OPV to a bivalent one, which requires a multipronged global strategy.

Concepts: Vaccine, Vaccination, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, The Final, World, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis


In 1988, the World Health Assembly resolved to eradicate poliomyelitis. Wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission persists in only two countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) after the removal of Nigeria from the list of countries with endemic polio in September 2015.* Indigenous WPV type 2 has not been detected since 1999 and was declared eradicated by the Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication in September 2015.(†) Since November 2012, when the last case of WPV type 3 was detected in Nigeria, WPV type 1 has been the sole circulating type of WPV (1). This report summarizes global progress toward polio eradication during 2015-2016 and updates previous reports (2). In 2015, 74 WPV cases were reported in two countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan), a decrease of 79% from the 359 WPV cases reported in 2014 in nine countries; 12 WPV cases have been reported in 2016 (to date), compared with 23 during the same period in 2015 (3). Paralytic polio caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) remains a risk in areas with low oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) coverage. Seven countries, including Pakistan, reported 32 cVDPV cases in 2015 (4). In four of these countries, ≥6 months have passed since the most recent case or isolate. One country (Laos) with VDPV transmission in 2015 has reported three additional cVDPV cases in 2016 to date. Encouraging progress toward polio eradication has been made over the last year; however, interruption of WPV transmission will require focus on reaching and vaccinating every missed child through high quality supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) and cross-border coordination between Afghanistan and Pakistan (5,6).

Concepts: Enterovirus, Infectious disease, Vaccine, Vaccination, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Poliomyelitis eradication, Poliovirus


Six different adjuvants, each in combination with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) produced with attenuated Sabin strains (sIPV), were evaluated for their ability to enhance virus neutralizing antibody titres (VNTs) in the rat potency model. The increase of VNTs was on average 3-, 15-, 24-fold with adjuvants after one immunization (serotypes 1, 2, and 3, respectively). Also after a boost immunization the VNTs of adjuvanted sIPV were on average another 7-20-27 times higher than after two inoculations of sIPV without adjuvant. The results indicate that it is feasible to increase the potency of inactivated polio vaccines by using adjuvants.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccine, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Immunologic adjuvant, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis, Albert Sabin


With the circulation of wild poliovirus (WPV) types 1 and 3 continuing more than a decade after the original goal of eradicating all three types of WPVs by 2000, policymakers consider many immunization options as they strive to stop transmission in the remaining endemic and outbreak areas and prevent reintroductions of live polioviruses into nonendemic areas. While polio vaccination choices may appear simple, our analysis of current options shows remarkable complexity. We offer important context for current and future polio vaccine decisions and policy analyses by developing decision trees that clearly identify potential options currently used by countries as they evaluate national polio vaccine choices. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature we (1) identify the current vaccination options that national health leaders consider for polio vaccination, (2) characterize current practices and factors that appear to influence national and international choices, and (3) assess the evidence of vaccine effectiveness considering sources of variability between countries and uncertainties associated with limitations of the data. With low numbers of cases occurring globally, the management of polio risks might seem like a relatively low priority, but stopping live poliovirus circulation requires making proactive and intentional choices to manage population immunity in the remaining endemic areas and to prevent reestablishment in nonendemic areas. Our analysis shows remarkable variability in the current national polio vaccine product choices and schedules, with combination vaccine options containing inactivated poliovirus vaccine and different formulations of oral poliovirus vaccine making choices increasingly difficult for national health leaders.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccine, Vaccination, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis, Poliovirus


When included in a sequential polio vaccination schedule, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) reduces the risk for vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP), a rare adverse event associated with receipt of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). During January 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended introduction of at least 1 IPV dose into routine immunization schedules in OPV-using countries (1). The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 recommended completion of IPV introduction in 2015 and globally synchronized withdrawal of OPV type 2 in 2016 (2). Introduction of 1 dose of IPV into Beijing’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) on December 5, 2014 represented China’s first province-wide IPV introduction. Coverage with the first dose of polio vaccine was maintained from 96.2% to 96.9%, similar to coverage with the first dose of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine (DTP) (96.5%-97.2%); the polio vaccine dropout rate (the percentage of children who received the first dose of polio vaccine but failed to complete the series) was 1.0% in 2015 and 0.4% in 2016. The use of 3 doses of private-sector IPV per child decreased from 18.1% in 2014, to 17.4% in 2015, and to 14.8% in 2016. No cases of VAPP were identified during 2014-2016. Successful introduction of IPV into the public sector EPI program was attributed to comprehensive planning, preparation, implementation, robust surveillance for adverse events after immunization (AEFI), and monitoring of vaccination coverage. This evaluation provided information that helped contribute to the expansion of IPV use in China and in other OPV-using countries.

Concepts: Vaccine, Vaccination, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Tetanus, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis, Poliovirus


In a Perspective linked to the research article by Isobel Blake and colleagues, Elizabeth Miller and T. Jacob John discuss the path towards global polio eradication and the challenges, strategies, and necessary precautions around oral polio vaccine cessation.

Concepts: Public health, Vaccine, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Research, Smallpox, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis