Freeze-dried polio vaccine could wipe out disease
A polio vaccine that can be stored at room temperature could help to eradicate the disease.
Polio has been eliminated in many countries, but it still circulates in the populations of countries including Nigeria and Pakistan, where it can cause paralysis or even death.
Oral vaccines use a weakened live virus that can, occasionally, cause paralysis. The alternative, inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV), involves an injection containing dead strains of the virus. However, IPV is sensitive to temperatures above and below about 4C. Now researchers, writing in the journal mBio, say they have freeze-dried IPV so that it can be stored at temperatures of up to 40C for four weeks and then dissolved for use.