The Effect of Mass Immunisation Campaigns and New Oral Poliovirus Vaccines on the Incidence of Poliomyelitis in Pakistan and Afghanistan, 2001–11: A Retrospective Analysis

Medical Research Council Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 07/2012; 380(9840):491-8. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60648-5
Source: PubMed


Pakistan and Afghanistan are two of the three remaining countries yet to interrupt wild-type poliovirus transmission. The increasing incidence of poliomyelitis in these countries during 2010-11 led the Executive Board of WHO in January, 2012, to declare polio eradication a "programmatic emergency for global public health". We aimed to establish why incidence is rising in these countries despite programme innovations including the introduction of new vaccines.
We did a matched case-control analysis based on a database of 46,977 children aged 0-14 years with onset of acute flaccid paralysis between Jan 1, 2001, and Dec 31, 2011. The vaccination history of children with poliomyelitis was compared with that of children with acute flaccid paralysis due to other causes to estimate the clinical effectiveness of oral poliovirus vaccines (OPVs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan by conditional logistic regression. We estimated vaccine coverage and serotype-specific vaccine-induced population immunity in children aged 0-2 years and assessed their association with the incidence of poliomyelitis over time in seven regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Between Jan 1, 2001, and Dec 31, 2011, there were 883 cases of serotype 1 poliomyelitis (710 in Pakistan and 173 in Afghanistan) and 272 cases of poliomyelitis serotype 3 (216 in Pakistan and 56 in Afghanistan). The estimated clinical effectiveness of a dose of trivalent OPV against serotype 1 poliomyelitis was 12·5% (95% CI 5·6-18·8) compared with 34·5% (16·1-48·9) for monovalent OPV (p=0·007) and 23·4% (10·4-34·6) for bivalent OPV (p=0·067). Bivalent OPV was non-inferior compared with monovalent OPV (p=0·21). Vaccination coverage decreased during 2006-11 in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan and in southern Afghanistan. Although partially mitigated by the use of more effective vaccines, these decreases in coverage resulted in lower vaccine-induced population immunity to poliovirus serotype 1 in FATA and Balochistan and associated increases in the incidence of poliomyelitis.
The effectiveness of bivalent OPV is comparable with monovalent OPV and can therefore be used in eradicating serotype 1 poliomyelitis whilst minimising the risks of serotype 3 outbreaks. However, decreases in vaccination coverage in parts of Pakistan and southern Afghanistan have severely limited the effect of this vaccine.
Poliovirus Research subcommittee of WHO, Royal Society, and Medical Research Council.

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    • "In addition to routine immunizations, polio control in Pakistan is heavily dependent upon a strategy of administration of the vaccine in a campaign mode. There are several reasons for persistence of disease in Pakistan including poor polio program performance and coverage of routine immunization [1]. In addition, conflict and security issues affecting access, problems with community buy in, poor status of sanitation and hygiene, high burden of diarrhea and poor nutritional status are recognized as important determinants [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Polio eradication remains a challenge in Pakistan and the causes for the failure to eradicate poliomyelitis are complex. Undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, especially zinc deficiency, are major public health problems in Pakistan and could potentially affect the response to enteric vaccines, including oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). To assess the impact of zinc supplementation among infants on immune response to oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted in newborns (aged 0-14 days). Subjects were assigned to either receive 10mg of zinc or placebo supplementation daily for 18 weeks. Both groups received OPV doses at birth, at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks. Data was collected on prior immunization status, diarrheal episodes, breastfeeding practices and anthropometric measurements at recruitment and at 6 and 18 weeks. Blood samples were similarly collected to determine the antibody response to OPV and for micronutrient analysis. Logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between seroconversion and zinc status. Overall, 404 subjects were recruited. At recruitment, seropositivity was already high for poliovirus (PV) serotype 1 (zinc: 91.1%; control: 90.5%) and PV2 (90.0%; 92.7%), with lower estimates for PV3 (70.0%; 64.8%). By week 18, the proportion of subjects with measured zinc levels in the normal range (i.e. ≥60μg/dL) was significantly greater in the intervention group compared to the control group (71.9%; 27.4%; p<0.001). No significant difference in seroconversion was demonstrated between the groups for PV1, PV2, or PV3. There was no effect of zinc supplementation on OPV immunogenicity. These conclusions were confirmed when restricting the analysis to those with measured higher zinc levels. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Vaccine
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    • "AFP can be caused by viruses other than WPV, though the distribution of these viruses and other causes of AFP are not well understood [27]. AFP cases without confirmed poliovirus in either stool sample, that is, non-polio AFP (NP-AFP), are considered to be a random sample of the population [28-30]. The age distribution of NP-AFP cases is peaked between 18 and 24 months (Figure 1A). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background One of the challenges facing the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is efficiently directing limited resources, such as specially trained personnel, community outreach activities, and satellite vaccinator tracking, to the most at-risk areas to maximize the impact of interventions. A validated predictive model of wild poliovirus circulation would greatly inform prioritization efforts by accurately forecasting areas at greatest risk, thus enabling the greatest effect of program interventions. Methods Using Nigerian acute flaccid paralysis surveillance data from 2004-2013, we developed a spatial hierarchical Poisson hurdle model fitted within a Bayesian framework to study historical polio caseload patterns and forecast future circulation of type 1 and 3 wild poliovirus within districts in Nigeria. A Bayesian temporal smoothing model was applied to address data sparsity underlying estimates of covariates at the district level. Results We find that calculated vaccine-derived population immunity is significantly negatively associated with the probability and number of wild poliovirus case(s) within a district. Recent case information is significantly positively associated with probability of a case, but not the number of cases. We used lagged indicators and coefficients from the fitted models to forecast reported cases in the subsequent six-month periods. Over the past three years, the average predictive ability is 86 ± 2% and 85 ± 4% for wild poliovirus type 1 and 3, respectively. Interestingly, the predictive accuracy of historical transmission patterns alone is equivalent (86 ± 2% and 84 ± 4% for type 1 and 3, respectively). We calculate uncertainty in risk ranking to inform assessments of changes in rank between time periods. Conclusions The model developed in this study successfully predicts districts at risk for future wild poliovirus cases in Nigeria. The highest predicted district risk was 12.8 WPV1 cases in 2006, while the lowest district risk was 0.001 WPV1 cases in 2013. Model results have been used to direct the allocation of many different interventions, including political and religious advocacy visits. This modeling approach could be applied to other vaccine preventable diseases for use in other control and elimination programs.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · BMC Medicine
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    • "The reintroduction and licensing of monovalent vaccines in 2005, and in particular, the use of type 1 monovalent OPV to prioritize eradication of the most pathogenic serotype led to a significant increase in population immunity to that serotype in endemic countries and a reduction in serotype 1 poliomyelitis followed. The efficacy of this newly licensed vaccine in India was shown to be approximately three times greater per dose compared with trivalent OPV against serotype 1 [21], and this was subsequently confirmed in an immunogenicity study in Egypt [22] and further efficacy studies elsewhere [23,24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The global incidence of poliomyelitis has dropped by more than 99 per cent since the governments of the world committed to eradication in 1988. One of the three serotypes of wild poliovirus has been eradicated and the remaining two serotypes are limited to just a small number of endemic regions. However, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has faced a number of challenges in eradicating the last 1 per cent of wild-virus transmission. The polio endgame has also been complicated by the recognition that vaccination with the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) must eventually cease because of the risk of outbreaks of vaccine-derived polioviruses. I describe the major challenges to wild poliovirus eradication, focusing on the poor immunogenicity of OPV in lower-income countries, the inherent limitations to the sensitivity and specificity of surveillance, the international spread of poliovirus and resulting outbreaks, and the potential significance of waning intestinal immunity induced by OPV. I then focus on the challenges to eradicating all polioviruses, the problem of vaccine-derived polioviruses and the risk of wild-type or vaccine-derived poliovirus re-emergence after the cessation of oral vaccination. I document the role of research in the GPEI's response to these challenges and ultimately the feasibility of achieving a world without poliomyelitis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
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