It was my privilege to work with Phil Minor during my PhD. 25 years later (gulp), Phil looks back and forward to the polio endgame.
The Polio-Eradication programme and issues of the end game. J Gen Virol. Nov 29 2011
Poliovirus causes paralytic poliomyelitis, an ancient disease of humans that became a major public health issue in the 20th century. The primary site of infection is the gut where virus replication is entirely harmless; the two very effective vaccines developed in the 1950s (Oral Polio Vaccine, or OPV and Inactivated Polio Vaccine, or IPV) induce humoral immunity which prevents viraemic spread and disease. The success of vaccination in developing countries and in middle income countries encouraged the World Health Organization to commit itself to an eradication programme which has made great advances. The features of the infection including its largely silent nature and the ability of the live vaccine (OPV) to evolve and change in vaccine recipients and their contacts make eradication particularly challenging. Understanding the pathogenesis and virology of the infections is of major significance as the programme reaches its conclusion.