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J Infect Dis. 2004 Apr 1;189(7):1168-75. Epub 2004 Mar 16.

Isolation and characterization of circulating type 1 vaccine-derived poliovirus from sewage and stream waters in Hispaniola.

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Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7431, USA.


Twenty-one cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) were reported on the island of Hispaniola in 2000. Laboratory analysis confirmed the presence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) type 1 in stool samples obtained from patients. As a complement to the active search for cases of AFP, environmental sampling was conducted during November and December 2000, to test for cVDPV in sewage, streams, canals, and public latrines. Fifty-five environmental samples were obtained and analyzed for the presence of polioviruses by use of cell culture followed by neutralization and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Of the 23 positive samples, 10 tested positive for poliovirus type 1, 7 tested positive for poliovirus type 2, 5 tested positive for poliovirus type 3, and 1 tested positive for both poliovirus type 2 and type 3. By sequence analysis of the complete viral capsid gene 1 (VP1), a 2.1%-3.7% genetic sequence difference between 7 type 1 strains and Sabin type 1 vaccine strain was found. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these viruses are highly related to cVDPV isolated from clinical cases and form distinct subclusters related to geographic region. Our findings demonstrate a useful role for environmental surveillance of neurovirulent polioviruses in the overall polio eradication program.

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