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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 199-

One step away from conquering polio eradication in India

SS Negi, NM Nagarkar 
 Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Correspondence Address:
S S Negi
Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh

How to cite this article:
Negi S S, Nagarkar N M. One step away from conquering polio eradication in India.Indian J Med Microbiol 2014;32:199-199

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Negi S S, Nagarkar N M. One step away from conquering polio eradication in India. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Dec 3 ];32:199-199
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Dear Editor,

The intensive pulse polio immunization (IPPI) programme started in 1995 by Government of India has finally bore a fruit when India was removed from the name list of Polio endemic countries by WHO in an announcement made by the Health Minister Mr. Gulam Nabi Azad on 25 th Feb, 2012 at Polio Summit 2012 in New Delhi suggesting that the wild polio virus has totally been eliminated from the environment. [1],[2]

With morbidity and mortality associated with the disease of polio which have crippled thousands of human lives by paralyzing them for their remaining life, this is moreover indeed an amazing turnaround. From 1998 to 2013, except the period of 2002, 2006-07 reporting 1600 cases and 676/874 cases respectively, substantial recordable decline have been witnessed in the number of cases from 1934 in 1998 to 42 cases in 2010, 1 case in 2011 and no case in 2012 to till date of reporting this correspondence [Figure 1]. [1],[2]{Figure 1}

Even the two worst polio-affected states namely UP and Bihar showed remarkable decline in polio cases from witnessing 602 and 117 cases, respectively, in 2009, the statistic declined to nine cases (three cases of P-3 and six cases of P-1 virus type) in Bihar and 10 cases (P-3 virus type) in UP in 2010 and no wild polio case in 2011 and 2013 till date in Bihar and UP. Throughout the country from recording 42 wild polio cases (P1-18 and P3-24) in 2010, substantial statistical decline was seen in 2011 when only one wild case (Type-P1) was detected on 13 January from West Bengal and no wild polio case was detected in 2012 and 2013 so far. [1],[2]

As far as cVDPV (Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus) was concerned it was reported in five cases (all Type-2 virus) in 2010, six cases (five Type-2 and one Type-3) in 2011, one case (Type-2) in 2012 from West Bengal and one recent case of 11-month-old infant from Maharashtra in May, 2013 found affected with Type 2. Although this recent case has rung alarm bells, but this does not threaten India's polio-free status as detecting VDPV is a part of the surveillance system and only infections caused by wild polio virus strains like P1 and P3 are counted while declaring a country polio-free, and not a P2 strain which is caused by the oral polio vaccine (OPV) and hence causes VDPV infection. To culminate the cVDPV threat, and to simultaneously raise the immunity against wild polio virus (WPV) 1 and 3, the introduction of Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) may be an potential option also suggested by Technical Advisory Body of the Union Health Ministry and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) more than 2 years ago. [3] Ensuring the cold chain is another paramount important parameter to maintain vaccine potency. Potency checking of OPV is hardly done after the inception of the vaccine vial monitor (VVM) into IPPI and any breach of cold chain could results in loss of viability of the attenuated virus content and accordingly ineffective vaccination. [3],[4],[5] Eradicating polio will allow us forever to reap the benefit of our investments, saving untold billions of rupees, and making new resources available for other public health and immunization issues. It is a matter of our credibility, commitment to millions of children and their parents to offer them a new dawn free of the curse called polio and various other future endeavors to overpower other horrifying diseases to mankind because if we fail here, we will never think of overpower any other disease in future.


1Eradication strategy, AFP surveillance, AFP and polio data, Laboratory network. Available at National polio surveillance project. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Feb 05].
2Polio monitoring, WHO. Available from monitoring/en/diseases/poliomyelitis/case count.cfm [Last accessed on 2014 Feb 05].
3India expert advisory group meeting for polio eradication. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Feb 05].
4Riaz H, Rehman A. Polio vaccine workers gunned down in Pakistan. Lancet Infect Dis 2013;13:120.
5Aylwar B, Tangermann R. The global polio eradication initiative: Lessons learned and prospects for success. Vaccine 2011;29 Suppl 4:D80-5.