Polio Virus isolation from environmental samples in London, UK

The Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) has confirmed the isolation of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV2) from environmental samples in London, United Kingdom (UK), which were detected as part of ongoing disease surveillance. Recent coverage for the primary course of DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccination, which protects against several diseases including polio, in London suggests immunization coverage of 86.6%. It is important to note that the virus has been isolated from environmental samples only – no associated cases of paralysis have been detected. Initially, vaccine-like type 2 poliovirus (SL2) had been isolated from samples taken from the same site between February and May 2022. Investigations and response by the UK Health Security Agency are ongoing to: • assess both origin and risk of circulation associated with these isolates; • explore routine immunization catch-up of children who are under-immunized, including of families that have recently arrived in the UK from countries with recent use of type 2-containing oral polio vaccine; and, • enhance communications about this incident to health professionals and caregivers. Genetic analysis suggests that the new VDPV2 and previous SL2 isolates have a common origin, still to be identified, but the technical definition and criteria for ‘circulation’ of VDPV2 are not met at this time. Any form of poliovirus anywhere is a threat to children everywhere. It is critical that the GPEI Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026 is fully resourced and fully implemented everywhere, to ensure a world free of all forms of poliovirus can be attained. (). Continue reading.



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