Mucosal immunity to poliovirus in children 0-15 years of age: A community-based study in Karachi, Pakistan in 2019

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


This study assesses poliovirus type 1 (PV1) immunity in children to inform the contribution of mucosal immunity in and preventing poliovirus circulation. A community-based study was conducted in peri-urban Karachi, Pakistan. Randomly selected children (0-15 years) received oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) challenge dose. Blood and stool samples were collected at several time points and evaluated for polio-neutralizing antibodies and serotype-specific poliovirus, respectively. 81/589 (14%) children excreted PV1 7 days post-OPV-challenge; 70/81 (86%) were seropositive at baseline. 12/610 (2%) were asymptomatic Wild Poliovirus Type 1 (WPV1) excretors. Most poliovirus excretors had humoral immunity, suggesting mucosal immunity in these children likely waned or never developed. Without mucosal immunity, they are susceptible to poliovirus infection, shedding, and transmission. Asymptomatic WPV1 excretion suggests undetected poliovirus circulation within the community.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

The Journal of Infectious Diseases