JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The maintaining of the active laboratory-based surveillance of the acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases in Romania in the framework of the strategic plan of the global polio eradication initiative.

Until 2008 poliomyelitis was controlled in Romania by predominantly using Oral Poliovirus Vaccine Sabin (OPV); the alternative vaccination schedule (IPV formalin Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine/OPV) will be implemented starting September 2008. The vaccination coverage with 4 doses of TOPV (trivalent oral polio vaccine) in the first 14 months of life has been > 90% since 1980. In Romania, the risk of the Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis cases (VAPP) decreased from less than 2 VAPP cases/year in the 1995-2006 interval to 0 VAPP cases in 2007. The serological study was performed in 2006-2007 only in cases with pair serum samples from 28 acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases (age = 3 months - 14 years) and from 45 facial paralysis (FP) cases (age -6 months - 4 years 9 months). A high level of vaccinal coverage was shown for all poliovirus serotypes: >95% in AFP serum samples investigated; and for FP serum samples investigated the levels of antibodies against poliovirus (PV) serotypes were 98% for PV type 1; 87% for PV type 2: and 89% for PV type 3. If the European region is polio free since 2002, the risk of wild PV importation from endemic region remains present. The laboratory capacity for the fast detection and molecular investigations of the emergence of the new epidemic strains and a high level of population immunity must be maintained. A national seroprevalence study concerning all three PV serotypes must be performed.

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