By Author
  By Title
  By Keywords

April 2023, Volume 73, Issue 4

Student's Corner

A Word of Caution: Re-emergence of poliovirus in West

Faiza Ahsan  ( 3rd Year MBBS Student, Karachi Medical and Dental College, Karachi, Pakistan. )
Sadia Tahir  ( 3rd Year MBBS Student, Karachi Medical and Dental College, Karachi, Pakistan. )
Abdul Wahid  ( 3rd Year MBBS Student, Karachi Medical and Dental College, Karachi, Pakistan. )

Dear Editor, Poliovirus is a positive-strand non-enveloped virus with different serogroups (1, 2, and 3) and causes poliomyelitis. Most of the patients get this virus via the faecal-oral route, and they can be kept in check by antibodies produced either by a vaccine, an earlier illness or by the mother. The WHO’s Global Program to End Polio has used the Oral Polio Vaccine, or OPV, as its principal tool. Other vaccinations include the inactivated vaccines discovered by Salk and the live attenuated strains created by Sabin. Since 1999, neither the type 2 nor the type 3 wild viruses have generated a case, and elimination is imminent. The live vaccination can occasionally return to dangerous activating forms under circumstances that are not fully known. However, most infections are completely silent, therefore may require experienced atmosphere monitoring to ensure complete eradication of the virus.1

The world came close to the global polio eradication initiative's goal of eradicating polio in 1988. Mass media campaigns and information broadcasts have mainly contributed to this success. Polio eradication has been hardest in the most underprivileged and poorest areas deprived of healthcare services. Since the advancements in science, the Polio Eradication Initiative has become intensely research-driven. The polio campaign in India and Pakistan between 2000 and 2007 demonstrates how epidemiological, sociological, and behavioural data inform communication tactics and raise polio immunity levels. Information marshalling, political advocacy, overcoming vaccination refusals, and reaching out to the poorest areas helped reduce polio incidents in the country.2

The recent discovery of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 found in sewage plants in London is alarming, and this shows that there has been an ongoing transmission among a group of people now shedding this virus in their stool. Since the UK declared polio-free in 2003, Further investigation and proper monitoring are required to indicate whether it is transmitting in larger communities and could become an even bigger problem in the future. It is also essential to bring about awareness among the masses to keep their children's vaccination status up to date and advise doctors and healthcare workers to look out for symptoms of poliovirus.3


Disclaimer: None.


Conflict of interest: None.


Funding disclosure: None.




Submission completion date: 05-09-2022


Acceptance date: 16-11-2022




1.      Minor PD. An introduction to poliovirus: pathogenesis, vaccination, and the endgame for global eradication. In: Poliovirus. New York, NY: Humana Press; 2016, pp. 1-10.

2.      Obregón R, Chitnis K, Morry C, Feek W, Bates J, Galway M, et al. Achieving polio eradication: a review of health communication evidence and lessons learned in India and Pakistan. Bull World Health Organ 2009; 87: 624-30.

3.      Poliovirus detected in sewage from North and East London. [Online] [Cited 2022 June 27]. Available from: URL:

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the principles of the following committees: