Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Injected Vaccine Could Help Eradicate Polio

Published: Friday, July 11, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, July 11, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Re-introducing a type of polio vaccine that fell out of favour in the 1960s could hasten eradication of the disease.

Published in The Lancet, the study by Imperial College London and the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, suggests that the injected polio vaccine (IPV), which is rarely used today in countries affected by polio, could provide better and longer lasting protection against infection if used in combination with the more commonly used live oral polio vaccine (OPV). 

Vaccination protects an individual against contracting polio, but they can still be infected by the virus, which replicates in the gut and can be passed to others through contact with infected faeces. This has led to serious polio outbreaks in Asia, Africa and Europe over the last 10 years and is hampering efforts to eradicate the disease. 

Most vaccination campaigns use multiple doses of OPV that provide some gut immunity, although this wanes over time.

"Because IPV is injected into the arm, rather than taken orally, it's been assumed it doesn't provide much protection in the gut and so would be less effective at preventing faecal transmission than OPV," explains Dr Jacob John, Associate Professor at the Christian Medical College, who led the study. "However, we found that where the children already had a level of immunity due to OPV, the injected vaccine actually boosted their gut immunity. 

"In the 1960s there was extensive rivalry between the scientists who developed the two vaccines, with OPV eventually becoming the most popular. But it looks as if the strongest immunity can been achieved through a combination of the two."

The study involved 450 children from a densely populated urban area in Vellore, India, all of whom had received the oral polio vaccine as part of a standard vaccination programme. Half of the children were given a dose of the injected vaccine and half given nothing. One month later, the children were given a 'challenge' dose of the live oral vaccine to simulate reinfection. 

Their stools were tested after seven days to see if the virus was present, specifically the two remaining serotypes of the virus which are resisting eradication - serotype 1 and serotype 3. In the children who had received the IPV, the researchers found that 38 per cent fewer had serotype 1 in their stool and 70 percent fewer had serotype 3, compared to those who had not been given the injected vaccine.

"Our findings show that an additional dose of the injected vaccine is more effective at boosting immunity against infection than the oral vaccine alone," says Nick Grassly, Professor of Vaccine Epidemiology at Imperial College London, senior author of the study. "This implies that the IPV could be used to boost immunity in people travelling from or to polio-infected countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. It could also replace some of the OPV doses in immunisation campaigns to boost gut immunity, particularly in areas of poor sanitation."

In another study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Imperial researchers from the same group looked at whether expanding the age range of vaccination campaigns to include older children and adults would help to prevent polio transmission. Using a mathematical model to examine disease transmission in two major polio outbreaks in Tajikistan and the Republic of Congo in 2010, they found that older ages contributed significantly to transmission in Congo but not Tajikistan, which might be related to standards of sanitation and hygiene. However, launching mass immunisation campaigns more quickly in response to outbreaks would have a much bigger impact than expanding the age range, the study reported.

Lead author Dr Isobel Blake from the Medical Research Council Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling at Imperial College London said: "It can take over 70 days to send stool samples to the lab and get back a diagnosis of polio, which means by the time authorities discover an outbreak, many more people are already infected. These findings suggest that methods to detect outbreaks earlier would be hugely beneficial to eradication efforts."

The Lancet study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The PNAS study was supported by a grant from the Polio Research Committee of the World Health Organization, the Royal Society, and Centre funding from the Medical Research Council.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Technique Negotiates Neuron Jungle To Target Source Of Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers from Imperial College London and Newcastle University believe they have found a potential new way to target cells of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Designer Molecule Shines a Spotlight on Mysterious Four-Stranded DNA
A small fluorescent molecule has shed new light on knots of DNA thought to play a role in regulating how genes are switched on and off.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Highly Effective Seasickness Treatment on the Horizon
The misery of motion sickness could be ended within five to ten years thanks to a new treatment being developed by scientists.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Health Risks of Saturated Fats Aggravated by Immune Response
Research shows that the presence of saturated fats resulted in monocytes migrating into the tissues of vital organs.
Friday, September 04, 2015
Discovery of Trigger for Bugs’ Defences Could Lead to New Antibiotics
New research shows that sigma54 holds a bacterium’s defences back until it encounters stress.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Breakthrough Could Lead to New Antibiotics
Scientists have exposed a chink in the armour of disease-causing bugs, with a new discovery about a protein that controls bacterial defences.
Friday, August 21, 2015
New Drug Target Identified for Serious Heart and Lung Condition
A gene has been identified that sheds new light on a potentially fatal heart and lung condition and could lead to a new treatment.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Study Finds Brain Chemicals that Keep Wakefulness in Check
Researchers to develop new drugs that promote better sleep, or control hyperactivity in people with mania.
Saturday, August 01, 2015
Fossil Fuel Emissions will Complicate Radiocarbon Dating, Warns Scientist
The paper is published in the journal PNAS.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Scientists Find New Variant of Streptococcal Bacteria Causing Severe Infections
Researchers noticed a sharp rise in infections caused by emm89.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Shows Encouraging Trial Results
A therapy that replaces the faulty gene responsible for cystic fibrosis in patients' lungs has produced encouraging results in a major UK trial.
Friday, July 03, 2015
New Genetic Form of Obesity and Diabetes Discovered
Scientists have discovered a new inherited form of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
New Genetic Form of Obesity and Diabetes Discovered
Scientists have discovered a new inherited form of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Researchers Develop New Breath Test to Diagnose Oesophageal and Gastric Cancer
Test will now be tested in a larger trial involving three hospitals in London.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
'Crumpled' Filter to Slash Energy Consumption
Scientists have developed an ultra-thin, super-strong membrane to filter liquids and gases, with the potential to cut energy consumption in industry.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Safer, Faster Way To Remove Pollutants From Water
Using nanoparticles filled with enzymes proves more effective than current methods.
Drug May Prevent Life-Threatening Muscle Loss in Advanced Cancers
New data describes how an experimental drug can stop life-threatening muscle wasting (cachexia) associated with advanced cancers and restore muscle health.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Novel Tumor Treatment
In the first published results from a $386,000 National Cancer Institute grant awarded earlier this year, a paper by Scott Verbridge and Rafael Davalos has been published.
Speeding Up the Process of Making Vaccines
System uses a freeze-dry concept to develop "just-add-water" solution.
Chemical Design Made Easier
Rice University scientists prepare elusive organocatalysts for drug and fine chemical synthesis.
New Analysis Technique for Chiral Activity in Molecules
Professor Hyunwoo Kim of the Chemistry Department and his research team have developed a technique that can easily analyze the optical activity of charged compounds by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos