Update on Immunodeficiency-Associated Vaccine-Derived Polioviruses - Worldwide, July 2018-December 2019

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Jul 17;69(28):913-917. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6928a4.


Since establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative* in 1988, polio cases have declined >99.9% worldwide; extensive use of live, attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) in routine childhood immunization programs and mass campaigns has led to eradication of two of the three wild poliovirus (WPV) serotypes (types 2 and 3) (1). Despite its safety record, OPV can lead to rare emergence of vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) when there is prolonged circulation or replication of the vaccine virus. In areas with inadequate OPV coverage, circulating VDPVs (cVDPVs) that have reverted to neurovirulence can cause outbreaks of paralytic polio (2). Immunodeficiency-associated VDPVs (iVDPVs) are isolated from persons with primary immunodeficiency (PID). Infection with iVDPV can progress to paralysis or death of patients with PID, and excretion risks seeding cVDPV outbreaks; both risks might be reduced through antiviral treatment, which is currently under development. This report updates previous reports and includes details of iVDPV cases detected during July 2018-December 2019 (3). During this time, 16 new iVDPV cases were reported from five countries (Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Philippines, and Tunisia). Alongside acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance (4), surveillance for poliovirus infections among patients with PID has identified an increased number of persons excreting iVDPVs (5). Expansion of PID surveillance will facilitate early detection and follow-up of iVDPV excretion among patients with PID to mitigate the risk for iVDPV spread. This will be critical to help identify all poliovirus excretors and thus achieve and maintain eradication of all polioviruses.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Poliomyelitis / epidemiology*
  • Poliomyelitis / prevention & control
  • Poliovirus / genetics
  • Poliovirus / isolation & purification
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / administration & dosage
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / adverse effects*
  • Serogroup


  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral