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Sound Progress Made Toward Global Containment of Poliovirus

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 -- With the eradication of wild poliovirus type 2 in 2015, progress has been made toward containment of the virus, according to research published in the June 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Nicoletta Previsani, Ph.D., from the World Health Organization in Geneva, and colleagues summarized the current status of poliovirus containment and progress, and outlined the remaining challenges for containment.

The researchers note that only wild poliovirus type 1 is still circulating, and the number of cases and countries with endemic transmission are at record lows. In 2015, wild poliovirus type 2 was certified as eradicated, and the trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) was replaced globally with a bivalent OPV containing Sabin poliovirus types 1 and 3. Monovalent type 2 OPV was authorized for large-scale outbreak control after withdrawal of trivalent OPV in eight countries. Poliovirus containment aims to ensure that poliovirus type 2 specimens are safely contained. Overall, 86 facilities in 30 countries have been designated as poliovirus-essential facilities for the continued storage or handling of poliovirus type 2 materials. Each country is responsible for making sure these facilities meet requirements for biorisk management.

"Effective containment is a prerequisite for the global certification of poliomyelitis eradication," the authors write.

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Posted: June 2017