Freeze-dried po­lio vac­cine could wipe out dis­ease

The Guardian Weekly - - Global Report -

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.

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