Past Poliovirus Surveys of U.S. Laboratories

As part of Phase 1 of the Global Action Plan to Minimize Poliovirus Facility–Associated Risk after Type-Specific Eradication of Wild Polioviruses and Sequential Cessation of Oral Poliovirus Vaccine Use (GAPIII)pdf iconexternal icon, the U.S. National Authority for Containment is responsible for surveying laboratories and other facilities in the United States that may possess poliovirus materials. The surveys gather information about poliovirus infectious materials and potentially infectious materials (e.g. stool and respiratory secretion specimens) that are currently in use and/or stored by these facilities.

In 2002, CDC surveyed academic, hospital, industry, private, and federal, state, and local government institutions and laboratories to compile a National Inventory of Wild Poliovirus Materials. Institutions informed CDC of the approximate number of infectious and potentially infectious wild poliovirus (WPV) samples in their possession. CDC also performed a literature search to validate the results of the survey.

In 2015, WHO requested that all countries conduct an inventory of their poliovirus-containing materials. CDC initiated a survey of federal facilities, academic institutions, state and local health departments, industrial facilities, commercial diagnostic laboratories, and hospitals in the United States. Responses from the 2015 survey were used to identify candidate PEFs. A summary of survey responses was first provided to the National Certification Committee (NCC) in 2016.

The U.S. survey focused on identifying facilities with infectious poliovirus materials as well as potentially infectious stool specimens that were collected at a time and place when wild poliovirus and vaccine-derived poliovirus were circulating or when oral polio vaccine was in use. Facilities were asked to provide information about their infectious and potentially infectious samples of:

  • wild poliovirus types 1, 2, 3
  • vaccine derived poliovirus type 1, 2, 3
  • oral polio vaccine/Sabin type 1, 2, 3

In December 2018, the NAC launched the National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment, a survey targeting facilities with biological samples from humans, experimentally infected animals, sewage, or environmental waters that may contain poliovirus. This survey aims to collect laboratory inventory data of materials potentially containing poliovirus (i.e., potentially infectious material).

The survey should be answered by laboratories and other facilities that have materials collected in the United States before 2001 and/or outside of the U.S., and therefore could potentially contain poliovirus. The questions seek to distinguish among wild poliovirus (WPV), circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV), and oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). Potentially infectious materials are identified on the basis of where and when the specimens were collected, not on the basis of any test results.

This survey is being launched now because additional guidance has been issued by WHO on the handling of potentially infectious materials. This new guidance applies to OPV potentially infectious materials and is less stringent than GAPIII requirements.

Page last reviewed: May 14, 2019, 07:45 AM