Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus: Epidemiology, Types, Global Response and Future Prospectives

Document Type : Review Article


1 WHO Regional Reference Lab for Diagnosis of Poliovirus and Enteroviruses, VACSERA Dokki, Giza, Cairo, Egypt

2 Consultant of microbiology & immunology, Central Public Health Laboratory(CPHL), Cairo 11613, Egypt

3 Center for Research and Regenerative Medicine (ECRRM), Cairo,11517, Egypt

4 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt

5 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


The genetic biodiversity of Polio virus transmission is a key indicator for epidemiologists to examine the transmission patterns of individual virus lines or families. In 2022, the identification of polio cases in many regions of the world free from the disease for several decades, gained significant attention due to their high-profile nature. These detections understandably raise concerns and necessitate appropriate management and response. However, their significance extends beyond individual incidents, serving as a stark reminder of the potential consequences if global polio eradication efforts fail—the worldwide resurgence of the disease. In August 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) certified the African region as free from wild poliovirus as the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) provides durable protection by inducing long-lasting humoral immunity. One notable characteristic of OPV is its capacity to not only immunize the recipients but also reach and safeguard unvaccinated individuals close to the vaccinated ones, extending its impact beyond the immediate recipients. However, the continued use of the OPV, which contains an attenuated virus, has the potential to undergo mutations, resulting in the emergence of vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPVs) strains particularly, serotype 2 (VDPV2) causing poliomyelitis. In this review, we focused on epidemiology, highlighted virus classifications, understood the features and transmission patterns of vaccine-derived polioviruses, and discussed the global protective and up-to-date control measures that should be undertaken to limit the spread of VDPV2.