• Polio and Measles Down the Drain: Environmental Enterovirus Surveillance in the Netherlands, 2005 to 2015.

      Benschop, Kimberley S M; van der Avoort, Harrie G; Jusic, Edin; Vennema, Harry; van Binnendijk, Rob; Duizer, Erwin (2017-07-01)
      Polioviruses (PVs) are members of the genus Enterovirus In the Netherlands, the exclusion of PV circulation is based on clinical enterovirus (EV) surveillance (CEVS) of EV-positive cases and routine environmental EV surveillance (EEVS) conducted on sewage samples collected in the region of the Netherlands where vaccination coverage is low due to religious reasons. We compared the EEVS data to those of the CEVS to gain insight into the relevance of EEVS for poliovirus and nonpolio enterovirus surveillance. Following the polio outbreak in Syria, EEVS was performed at the primary refugee center in Ter Apel in the Netherlands, and data were compared to those of CEVS and EEVS. Furthermore, we assessed the feasibility of poliovirus detection by EEVS using measles virus detection in sewage during a measles outbreak as a proxy. Two Sabin-like PVs were found in routine EEVS, 11 Sabin-like PVs were detected in the CEVS, and one Sabin-like PV was found in the Ter Apel sewage. We observed significant differences between the three programs regarding which EVs were found. In 6 sewage samples collected during the measles outbreak in 2013, measles virus RNA was detected in regions where measles cases were identified. In conclusion, we detected PVs, nonpolio EVs, and measles virus in sewage and showed that environmental surveillance is useful for poliovirus detection in the Netherlands, where live oral poliovirus vaccine is not used and communities with lower vaccination coverage exist. EEVS led to the detection of EV types not seen in the CEVS, showing that EEVS is complementary to CEVS.IMPORTANCE We show that environmental enterovirus surveillance complements clinical enterovirus surveillance for poliovirus detection, or exclusion, and for nonpolio enterovirus surveillance. Even in the presence of adequate surveillance, only a very limited number of Sabin-like poliovirus strains were detected in a 10-year period, and no signs of transmission of oral polio vaccine (OPV) strains were found in a country using exclusively inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Measles viruses can be detected during an outbreak in sewage samples collected and concentrated following procedures used for environmental enterovirus surveillance.