Analysis of poliovirus recovered from the stool of a patient with fatal poliomyelitis revealed that she had been infected with the virus 12 years earlier, probably when one of her children received the oral poliovirus vaccine. This case has the longest known incubation period for vaccine-derived poliomyelitis, and highlights our still rudimentary understanding of how poliovirus causes disease.
This case emphasizes the need to continue research on poliovirus. Our knowledge of how the virus causes disease is still rudimentary – as is evident by our failure to understand the 12 year incubation period of the case described here. Although the polio eradication campaign has had excellent results, it can be compromised by vaccine-associated disease. Individuals with B lymphocyte deficiencies will be a reservoir for the virus and can lead to infections if immunization levels drop. It would be highly beneficial to identify all individuals with chronic poliovirus infections, and treat them with antivirals. Unfortunately, such compounds do not exist – underscoring the need to continue research to identify drugs that can be used to treat poliovirus infection.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
12 year polio incubation in immune-compromised patient
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