Jeffrey Modell Foundation announces global polio surveillance study

The Jeffrey Modell Foundation, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to early disease diagnosis, announced a new polio surveillance study on Monday that will focus on patients with primary immunodeficiencies.

The JMF's study will concentrate on patients with PI who either received the oral polio vaccine or were exposed to it. Because patients with PI have little to no immune system, PI patients receiving OPV are unable to create an immune response and are unable to clear the intestinal vaccine virus infection. Individuals with healthy immune systems are able to excrete the live-weakened form of the virus within six to eight weeks.

PI patients can contract vaccine derived poliovirus, which may put them at risk of developing vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis and VDPV excretion, potentially exposing the community to the virus. The surveillance of the PI patients could result in new data about vaccine-derived polioviruses throughout the world.

"We are excited to begin such a meaningful and crucial surveillance project in so many regions of the world," Vicki Modell, the co-founder of JMF, said. "We are optimistic and hope to bring our energy, our commitment, and our compassion to this program."

The study will include 25 different sites, including JMF centers in Tunisia, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Kuwait, Iran, Israel, India, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil and Argentina. The JMF will work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Task Force for Global Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization on the surveillance study.