Search for poliovirus carriers among people with primary immune deficiency diseases in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and the United Kingdom

Bull World Health Organ. 2004 Jan;82(1):3-8.


Objective: To estimate the rate of long-term poliovirus excretors in people known to have B-cell immune deficiency disorders.

Methods: An active search for chronic excretors was conducted among 306 persons known to have immunoglobulin G (IgG) deficiency in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and the United Kingdom, and 40 people with IgA deficiency in the United States. Written informed consent or assent was obtained from the participants or their legal guardians, and the studies were formally approved. Stool samples were collected from participants and cultured for polioviruses. Calculation of the confidence interval for the proportion of participants with persistent poliovirus excretion was based on the binomial distribution.

Findings: No individuals with long-term excretion of polioviruses were identified. Most participants had received oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) and almost all had been exposed to household contacts who had received OPV. Polioviruses of recent vaccine origin were transiently found in four individuals in Mexico and Brazil, where OPV is recommended for all children.

Conclusion: Although chronic poliovirus excretion can occur in immunodeficient persons, it appears to be rare.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agammaglobulinemia / complications
  • Aged
  • Brazil
  • Carrier State / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / complications
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Feces / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • IgA Deficiency / complications
  • IgG Deficiency / complications
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Poliomyelitis / diagnosis*
  • Poliomyelitis / transmission
  • Poliovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / adverse effects
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Virus Shedding


  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral