Innate host barriers to viral trafficking and population diversity. Lessons learned from poliovirus

Research output: Book/ReportBook

28 Scopus citations


Poliovirus is an error-prone enteric virus spread by the fecal-oral route and rarely invades the central nervous system (CNS). However, in the rare instances when poliovirus invades the CNS, the resulting damage to motor neurons is striking and often permanent. In the prevaccine era, it is likely that most individuals within an epidemic community were infected; however, only 0.5% of infected individuals developed paralytic poliomyelitis. Paralytic poliomyelitis terrified the public and initiated a huge research effort, which was rewarded with two outstanding vaccines. During research to develop the vaccines, many questions were asked: Why did certain people develop paralysis? How does the virus move from the gut to the CNS? What limits viral trafficking to the CNS in the vast majority of infected individuals? Despite over 100 years of poliovirus research, many of these questions remain unanswered. The goal of this chapter is to review our knowledge of how poliovirus moves within and between hosts, how host barriers limit viral movement, how viral population dynamics impact viral fitness and virulence, and to offer hypotheses to explain the rare incidence of paralytic poliovirus disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUnknown Publisher
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameAdvances in Virus Research
ISSN (Print)00653527
ISSN (Electronic)15578399

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine(all)


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