Document Type



Women and Child Health; Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: Afghanistan is one of the remaining wild-poliovirus (WPV) endemic countries. We conducted a seroprevalence survey of anti-poliovirus antibodies in Kandahar Province.
Methods: Children in two age groups (6–11 months and 36–48 months) visiting Mirwais hospital in Kandahar for minor ailments unrelated to polio were enrolled. After obtaining informed consent, we collected venous blood and conducted neutralization assay to detect poliovirus neutralizing antibodies.
Results: A total of 420 children were enrolled and 409/420 (97%) were analysed. Seroprevalence to poliovirus type 1 (PV1) was 97% and 100% in the younger and older age groups respectively; it was 71% and 91% for PV2; 93% and 98% for PV3. Age group (RR = 3.6, CI 95% = 2.2–5.6) and place of residence outside of Kandahar city (RR = 1.8, CI 95% = 1.2–2.6) were found to be significant risk factors for seronegativity.
Conclusions: The polio eradication program in Kandahar achieved high serological protection, especially against PV1 and PV3. Lower PV2 seroprevalence in the younger age group is a result of a withdrawal of live type 2 vaccine in 2016 and is expected. Ability to reach all children with poliovirus vaccines is a pre-requisite for achieving poliovirus eradication.


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