Vaccine preventable viral diseases and risks associated with waterborne transmission

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Rotavirus and poliovirus are paradigmatic viruses for causing major diseases affecting the human population. The impact of poliovirus is remarkably diminished because of vaccination during the last half century. Poliomyelitis due to wild polio currently affects a limited number of countries, and since 2000 sporadic outbreaks have been associated to neurovirulent vaccine-derived polioviruses. Conversely, rotavirus is presently very diffuse, accounting for the largest fraction of severe gastroenteritis among children <5 years-old. Vaccination towards rotavirus is still in its dawn, and zoonotic strains contribute to the emergence and evolution of novel strains pathogenic to man. The environment, particularly surface water, is a possible vehicle for large transmission of both viruses, but environmental surveillance of circulating strains can help promptly monitor entry of new virulent strains into a country, their shedding and spread.




Ruggeri, F. M., & Fiore, L. (2012). Vaccine preventable viral diseases and risks associated with waterborne transmission. Annali Dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanita, 48(4), 460–472.

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