PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH

DNA Based Detection of the Polio Virus in Biomedical Waste –a Tool for Virus-free Waste Management

Polio is believed to be eradicated in Nepal. However, biomedical waste arising from the polio vaccines used to prevent the disease need to be properly disposed of if we are to prevent this disease from re-emerging. The polio vaccine uses an attenuated (not capable of causing disease) form of the virus, but it is capable of mutating and reverting back to its virulent form. Similar genetic makeups of the attenuated and wild-type viruses make them indistinguishable from each other. Thus, it is imperative that used or expired vaccines are properly handled and disposed of. CMDN is currently developing guidelines for proper biomedical waste management in Nepal with the aim of decreasing unnecessary risk caused by improper handling of clinical waste. Efficacy of the sterilization process was evaluated by screening the waste for any viral presence using molecular techniques.