Vaccinated man excretes live poliovirus for nearly 3 decades | Science News

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Vaccinated man excretes live poliovirus for nearly 3 decades

Strains in immune-compromised Briton differ slightly from vaccine’s

By
2:00pm, August 27, 2015
poliovirus

CHANGING FACE  An immunodeficient man has been excreting live poliovirus for 28 years. His viral strains differ from the one he received in a vaccine. A simulated virus particle shows some of these changes, in surface regions (red) that interact with human immune proteins and elsewhere (blue).   

A British man has been excreting live poliovirus for an estimated 28 years.

An immune deficiency allowed weakened virus from oral polio vaccines to replicate and change within the man’s body. This case is not unique, but it’s the longest-lasting example of vaccine-derived poliovirus on record, researchers report August 27 in PLOS Pathogens.

The study reveals that there is no limit to how long polio can circulate in the system of a person who doesn’t produce enough of specific antibodies, says virologist Olen Kew of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “This is the world record holder — everyone agrees,” he says.

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