Progress Toward Poliovirus Containment Implementation — Worldwide, 2018–2019

Daphne B. Moffett, PhD; Anna Llewellyn, PhD; Harpal Singh, MD, PhD; Eugene Saxentoff, PhD; Jeffrey Partridge, PhD; Maria Iakovenko, PhD; Sigrun Roesel, MD; Humayun Asghar, MD; Najam Baig, MD; Varja Grabovac, MSc; Santosh Gurung, MD; Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, PhD; Jacob Barnor, PhD; Andros Theo, PhD; Gloria Rey-Benito, MSc; Andrea Villalobos; Liliane Boualam, MPH; Joseph Swan; Roland W. Sutter, MD; Ekkehart Pandel, MD; Steven Wassilak, MD; M. Steven Oberste, PhD; Ian Lewis; Michel Zaffran, MEng


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2019;68(38):825-829. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Among the three wild poliovirus (WPV) types, type 2 (WPV2) was declared eradicated globally by the Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) in 2015. Subsequently, in 2016, a global withdrawal of Sabin type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV2) from routine use, through a synchronized switch from the trivalent formulation of oral poliovirus vaccine (tOPV, containing vaccine virus types 1, 2, and 3) to the bivalent form (bOPV, containing types 1 and 3), was implemented. WPV type 3 (WPV3), last detected in 2012,[1] will possibly be declared eradicated in late 2019.* To ensure that polioviruses are not reintroduced to the human population after eradication, World Health Organization (WHO) Member States committed in 2015 to containing all polioviruses in poliovirus-essential facilities (PEFs) that are certified to meet stringent containment criteria; implementation of containment activities began that year for facilities retaining type 2 polioviruses (PV2), including type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) materials.[2] As of August 1, 2019, 26 countries have nominated 74 PEFs to retain PV2 materials. Twenty-five of these countries have established national authorities for containment (NACs), which are institutions nominated by ministries of health or equivalent bodies to be responsible for poliovirus containment certification. All designated PEFs are required to be enrolled in the certification process by December 31, 2019.[3] When GCC certifies WPV3 eradication, WPV3 and vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) type 3 materials will also be required to be contained, leading to a temporary increase in the number of designated PEFs. When safer alternatives to wild and OPV/Sabin strains that do not require containment conditions are available for diagnostic and serologic testing, the number of PEFs will decrease. Facilities continuing to work with polioviruses after global eradication must minimize the risk for reintroduction into communities by adopting effective biorisk management practices.