Intestinal immunity is a determinant of clearance of poliovirus after oral vaccination

J Infect Dis. 2014 May 15;209(10):1628-34. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit671. Epub 2014 Jan 23.


Background: Response to challenge with live, attenuated, oral polio vaccine (OPV) is a measure of immunity induced by prior immunization.

Methods: Using stool samples from a study from Oman in which an initial schedule of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) was followed by an OPV type 1 challenge, we quantitated virus shed, sequenced capsid proteins of recovered virus, and developed assays for neutralization of poliovirus and mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA) detection.

Results: Neutralizing activity correlated with detection of polio-specific IgA in stool suspensions collected 7 days after OPV type 1 challenge. Both neutralization and IgA in stool were associated with cessation of virus shedding by day 7. Rapid development of an IgA response with cessation of shedding suggests that IPV primed for the early response to challenge. Correlation of neutralization activity and IgA detection provides evidence that polio-specific IgA intestinal antibody is a determinant of mucosal shedding/transmission and that IgA functions through neutralization of virus. In contrast, neither presence nor quantity of serum or intestinal antibody induced by IPV prior to challenge correlated with cessation of shedding.

Conclusions: These assays provide an opportunity to study other immunization schedules to gain a broader understanding of the appearance and duration of a protective mucosal response to polio vaccination.

Keywords: IgA; mucosal immunity; polio; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral / chemistry*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Feces / virology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Infant
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Poliomyelitis / prevention & control*
  • Poliovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / administration & dosage
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral