Traces of the polio virus found in London’s sewage

This form of the virus, derived from a vaccine strain, is detected once or three times a year in the country’s wastewater. But this is the first time these “isolates” have been “genetically linked,” according to the World Health Organization.

Article redigé par


Lecture time: 1 min.

The World Health Organization and the British authorities have announced that traces of a form of poliovirus derived from a vaccine strain have been found in wastewater samples in London on Wednesday 22 June.

Le poliovirus is responsible for poliomyelitis, a highly contagious disease that invades the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis. IT“WHO notes, however, that”no case “ of polio had not yet been detected in the country, in a statement (in English). Traces of polio have been detected once or three times a year in UK wastewater in recent years, but this is the first time such “isolates” have been detected. “Are genetically related” between them, according to the organization.

The virus exists in several forms, the best known being the wild poliovirus. But the traces found correspond to another type, which can also spread: the “circulating poliovirus derived from a vaccine strain”, or PVDVc. These forms are rare, but more common in recent years due to low vaccination rates in some populations.

This virus can be detected in sales after receiving an oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is designed to start from an attenuated form of live poliovirus. VPO has not been used in the UK since 2004, moreover several countries continue to use it.

According to the British authorities, the most likely scenario is a recent VPO vaccine in another country that entered the United Kingdom before February. “These results suggest that it may have a localized spread of poliovirus, most likely in people who are not vaccinated against polio.”estimates Kathleen O’Reilly, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a specialist in polio.

WHO judge “It is important that all countries, in particular those with a high volume of travel and contact with countries and areas affected by polio, step up surveillance in order to quickly detect any new virus imports and facilitate a rapid response.”. She adds that “Any form of poliovirus, wherever it is found, is a threat to children around the world”.

Leave a Comment