From the Wikipedia page for poliomyelitis eradication:

A study carried out in an isolated Eskimo village showed that antibodies produced from subclinical wild virus infection persisted for at least 40 years. Because the immune response to oral polio vaccine is very similar to natural polio infection, it is expected that oral polio vaccination provides similar lifelong immunity to the virus.

What studies support the notion that oral polio vaccine provides a lifelong immunity similar to subclinical wild virus infection? The quote from Wikipedia gives only inference.

  • 1
    Based on this study that the Wikipedia article sourced that passage with, there is evidence that immune response to subclinical wild virus infection does not provide lifelong immunity, see section 4 of this WHO study about polio who.int/ihr/polio1993en.pdf Also be aware that the presence of antibodies does not guarantee immunity to infection. The Eskimo study was done in 1951, and I couldn't access it. The WHO study (1993) describes how repeated infection can occur in non-vaccinated people exposed to wild virus. – Ellie Kesselman Aug 10 '17 at 3:48
  • Vaccination doesn't guarantee lifetime immunity either, if the vaccine is not administered as directed, at the scheduled time with the first dose at 2 months of age or so. It might be true that wild virus infection and oral polio vaccination provide similar immunity to the virus, but not at a consistently 100% rate for life for everyone. I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT POLIO VACCINATION IS INEFFECTIVE!!! The WHO study gives the VERY high percentage rates of immunity following vaccination. – Ellie Kesselman Aug 10 '17 at 3:53
  • May I suggest that there is a proof by counter-example? That is, if the polio vaccine did not provide lifelong immunity, people who had it as children in the 1960s would now be subject to infection, but (per the CDC) there hasn't been a case of polio of US origin since 1979. – jamesqf Aug 10 '17 at 5:38
  • 1
    @EllieKesselman - I guess some of that is dependent on an individual's actual lifespan. :D – PoloHoleSet Aug 10 '17 at 16:08
  • 1
    @jamesqf A fair inference. Yet, we know that inferences can be wrong. I'm hoping to see actual studies. But some of the information from Ellie above indicates that the premise (that wild virus infection yields 40 year immunity) may be wrong. – fredsbend Aug 10 '17 at 17:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .