An Introduction to Poliovirus: Pathogenesis, Vaccination, and the Endgame for Global Eradication

  • Philip D. MinorEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1387)


Poliomyelitis is caused by poliovirus, which is a positive strand non-enveloped virus that occurs in three distinct serotypes (1, 2, and 3). Infection is mainly by the fecal–oral route and can be confined to the gut by antibodies induced either by vaccine, previous infection or maternally acquired. Vaccines include the live attenuated strains developed by Sabin and the inactivated vaccines developed by Salk; the live attenuated vaccine (Oral Polio Vaccine or OPV) has been the main tool in the Global Program of Polio eradication of the World Health Organisation. Wild type 2 virus has not caused a case since 1999 and type 3 since 2012 and eradication seems near. However most infections are entirely silent so that sophisticated environmental surveillance may be needed to ensure that the virus has been eradicated, and the live vaccine can sometimes revert to virulent circulating forms under conditions that are not wholly understood. Cessation of vaccination is therefore an increasingly important issue and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is playing a larger part in the end game.

Key words

Poliovirus Picornaviruses Human enterovirus C species pathogenesis Live and killed vaccines The Global Poliomyelitis Eradication Initiative Vaccine derived polioviruses Stopping vaccination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Biological Standards and ControlMedicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory AgencyPotters BarUK

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