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Braz J Med Biol Res. 1997 Jun;30(6):695-703.

Rare adverse events associated with oral poliovirus vaccine in Brazil.

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Departamento de Virologia, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.


Oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) developed by A. Sabin has been effectively used to control poliomyelitis in Brazil, and the last case with the isolation of a wild poliovirus strain occurred in March 1989. Although the vaccine controlled the circulation of wild strains and poliomyelitis cases associated with these strains were not detected during the last eight years, rare cases classified as vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) have been detected. Molecular characterization studies of poliovirus strains isolated from VAPP cases and from healthy contacts have confirmed that the isolates are derived from the Sabin vaccine strains and also detected genomic modifications known or suspected to increase neurovirulence such as mutations and recombination. The molecular characterization of polioviruses isolated during the last eight years from paralysis cases classified as Guillain-Barré (GBS) syndrome and transverse myelitis (TM), and from facial paralysis (FP) cases also confirmed the vaccine origin of the strains and demonstrated mutations known to increase neurovirulence. Analysis of the epidemiologic data of these GBS, TM and FP cases demonstrated that in most of them the last OPV dose was given months or years before the onset of the disease and the isolation of the polioviruses. The temporal association between the isolation of these strains and the GBS, TM and FP suggested that the Sabin vaccine-derived poliovirus strains could also rarely trigger the diseases.

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