Jpn. J. Infect. Dis., 56, 218-219, 2003
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Laboratory and Epidemiology Communications
Surveillance of Poliovirus-Isolates in Japan, 2002
Hiroyuki Shimizu*, Hiromu Yoshida, Andi Utama, Takashi Nakayama1, Takayuki Saito2, Kanako Watanabe3, Setsuko Iizuka4, Shinji Noda5, Tetsuo Yoneyama and Tatsuo Miyamura
Department of Virology II, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Musashimurayama 208-0011, 1Toyama Institute of Health, Kosugi 939-0363, 2Kanagawa Prefectural Public Health Laboratory, Chigasaki 253-0087, 3Niigata Prefectural Research Laboratory for Health and Environment, Niigata 950-2144, 4Shimane Institute of Public Health and Environmental Science, Matsue 690-0122 and 5Gifu Prefectural Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences, Gifu 500-8226
Communicated by Tatsuo Miyamura
(Accepted November 11, 2003)
*Corresponding author: Mailing address: Department of Virology II, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Gakuen 4-7-1, Musashimurayama, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan. Tel: +81-42-561-0771, Fax: +81-42-561-4729, E-mail: email@example.com
In 2002, seven polioviruses were isolated in Japan. Four were from cases that presented various clinical manifestations. Three were from healthy individuals. All of these isolates were sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and subjected to intratypic differentiation (ITD) of polioviruses by the PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay (1,2). As shown in Table 1, all of these poliovirus isolates were identified as oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)-like viruses. From one acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case in Kanagawa Prefecture (case 3), type 3 poliovirus was isolated. This isolate might be derived from the patient's second OPV taken just before the onset of AFP. The paralysis of case 3 was transient, and thus there was no qualified case with vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) in Japan in 2002. The other six polioviruses were isolated from healthy individuals (cases 1, 2, and 7) or clinical cases that did not receive OPV before the onset (cases 4, 5, and 6). Those polioviruses might be conventional community-acquired OPV-like viruses, which were transmitted from other vaccinees.
The Global Poliomyelitis Eradication Program has nearly achieved the interruption of wild poliovirus transmission in most of the world. The remaining chains of wild poliovirus transmission are now concentrated in just three countries (India, Nigeria, and Pakistan). However, poliomyelitis outbreaks associated with circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) have been identified in Egypt (1988 - 1993), Hispaniola (2000 - 2001), the Philippines (2001), and Madagascar (2001 - 2002) (3-6). In order to detect and differentiate highly evolved cVDPVs from OPV-like viruses, the World Health Organization required the Global Polio Laboratory Network to strengthen reliable ITD assays and further sequencing analysis. In this regard, laboratory surveillance for VAPP remains to be an important component in the certification of Japan's polio-free status.
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