New strain of polio virus resistant to vaccine

Poliomyelitis is an acute infectious disease that affects the nervous system and can lead to general paralysis, respiratory arrest and death in a matter of hours.

Most of the virus affects children

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aged five to six years. Over the past 30 years, the program to eradicate polio through vaccination has reduced the number of polio cases by 99% from 350,000 cases in 1988 to 650 cases in 2011. However, to this day, cases of an epidemic have been registered.

After an international group of researchers sequenced the genome of the virus responsible for that epidemic, it turned out that it was a previously unknown strain in the genetic material of which the genes responsible for the formation of the protein coat (capsid) were changed as a result of mutations. The final result showed that the antibodies produced in the body after vaccination could not recognize the mutant strain of the virus.

After testing the standard vaccine on blood samples from 60 vaccinated patients, it turned out that the antibodies in their bodies are practically not effective against the new strain of the polio virus. Thus, in 15-30% of cases, vaccination has become ineffective.

In this regard, scientists warn of the possibility of infection of vaccinated people with mutant strains of the polio virus, against which therapeutic measures have not yet been developed.