Polio : Causative Agent, Structure, Pathogenesis, Symptoms, Treatment And MCQs for NEET, GPAT, CSIR NET JRF

Polio : Causative Agent, Structure, Pathogenesis, Symptoms, Treatment And MCQs for NEET, GPAT, CSIR NET JRF

” World’s Polio day is celebrated on 24 October.”

CAUSATIVE AGENT : Polio is caused by Poliovirus

STRUCTURE : Poliovirus is spherical, encapsulated RNA virus of the enterovirus family. It has similar structure to the rhinovirus that causes the common cold. The 7500 – bp genome encodes four structural proteins, two proteases and an RNA – dependent RNA polymerase.


Like other enteroviruses, poliovirus first infects the tissues in the oropharynx is secreted into the saliva and swallowed, and then multiplies in the intestinal mucosa and lymph nodes, causing transient vermia and fever. In 1 out of 100 infected persons, poliovirus invades the central nervous system {CNS} and replicate in the motor neuron of the spinal cord or brain stem. Virus spread in the nervous system may be secondary to vermia or by retrograde transport of the virus along the axons of the motor neuron.


Following are the signs and symptoms of polio infection :-

  • Loss of reflexes in the body
  • Muscle pain
  • Very severe spasm
  • There will be sudden paralysis that can be temporary or permanent
  • Limbs, hips, ankle and feet become deform
  • Loose and flappy limbs


There are three major strains of poliovirus, each of which is included in the Salk formalin – fixed (killed) vaccine and the Sabin oral attenuated (live) vaccine, which can almost eliminate the poliovirus infection. While in case of paralytic polio painkillers or antispasmodic drugs are also given to relax the muscle.



1.] Polio can be eradicated by which of the following ?

a. Attention to sewage control and hygiene

b. Killed polio vaccine

c. Live polio vaccine

d. Combination of the killed and live vaccine

2.] Most viral vaccine are produced by which of the following techniques ?

a. Traditional cell culture

b. Molecular biology

c. VLPs

d. None of the above

3.] Polio is a disease caused by a ?

a. Toxin

b. Bacterium

c. Virus

d. Fungus

4.] Polio always causes paralysis in the infected individual ?

a. True

b. False

5.] Does poliovirus affect nerves ?

a. True

b. False

6.] Polio usually affect ?

a. Children between 0 to 5 years of age

b. Adolescents between 10 and 15 years of age

c. Young adults

d. Elderly

7.] All of the following statements are true regarding poliovirus except ?

a. It is transmitted by feco – oral route

b. Asymptomatic infections are common in children

c. There is a single serotype causing infection

d. Live attenuated vaccine produces herd immunity

8.] What is the most successful and most widely used ‘travel’ vaccine for international visitors ?

a. Influenza

b. MMR

c. Yellow fever

d. Rabies

9.] More than 90 % of people who become infected with the poliovirus experience ?

a. Difficulty in breathing

b. Paralysis

c. Muscles atrophy

d. No symptoms

10.] Which of the following are the symptoms of polio ?

a. Loss of reflex

b. Severe spasm and muscle pain

c. Sudden paralysis

d. All of the above



1.] (d) Combination of the killed and live vaccine

2.] (a) Traditional cell culture

3.] (c) Virus

4.] (b)

5.] (a)

6.] (a) Children between 0 to 5 years of age

7.] (c) There is a single serotype causing infection

8.] (c) Yellow fever

9.] (b) Paralysis

10.] (d)


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1.] Robbin’s Basic Pathology; 5th edition; Page no. 349.


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