Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

WHO/V&B/03.03

Guidelines for environmental surveillance of poliovirus circulation

Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance is the "gold standard" for surveillance in the polio eradication initiative. However, under certain circumstances valuable supplementary suveillance information can be obtained by evaluating environmental samples for the presence of wild polioviruses. The guidelines outline issues to be considered in planning for environmental surveillance, including: selection of target population and collection sites; sampling procedures and logistics of sample handling; laboratory procedures; theoretical considerations on sensitivity of the surevillance approach; and responding to wild virus detection in the environment.

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