ResearchPad - influenza-b-virus https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Virus detections among patients with severe acute respiratory illness, Northern Vietnam]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13805 Severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) is a major cause of death and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries, however, the etiologic agents are often undetermined due to the lack of molecular diagnostics in hospitals and clinics. To examine evidence for select viral infections among patients with SARI in northern Vietnam, we studied 348 nasopharyngeal samples from military and civilian patients admitted to 4 hospitals in the greater Hanoi area from 2017–2019. Initial screening for human respiratory viral pathogens was performed in Hanoi, Vietnam at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) or the Military Institute of Preventative Medicine (MIPM), and an aliquot was shipped to Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore for validation. Patient demographics were recorded and used to epidemiologically describe the infections. Among military and civilian cases of SARI, 184 (52.9%) tested positive for one or more respiratory viruses. Influenza A virus was the most prevalent virus detected (64.7%), followed by influenza B virus (29.3%), enterovirus (3.8%), adenovirus (1.1%), and coronavirus (1.1%). Risk factor analyses demonstrated an increased risk of influenza A virus detection among military hospital patients (adjusted OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2–3.2), and an increased risk of influenza B virus detection among patients enrolled in year 2017 (adjusted OR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.7–22.9). As influenza A and B viruses were commonly associated with SARI and are treatable, SARI patients entering these hospitals would benefit if the hospitals were able to adapt onsite molecular diagnostics.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the new fully automated extraction platform eMAG to the MagNA PURE 96 and the well-established easyMAG for detection of common human respiratory viruses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac8ad5eed0c484d089f7

Respiratory viral infections constitute the majority of samples tested in the clinical virology laboratory during the winter season, and are mainly diagnosed using molecular assays, namely real-time PCR (qPCR). Therefore, a high-quality extraction process is critical for successful, reliable and sensitive qPCR results. Here we aimed to evaluate the performance of the newly launched eMAG compared to the fully automated MagNA PURE 96 (Roche, Germany) and to the semi-automated easyMAG (bioMerieux, France) extraction platforms. For this analysis, we assessed and compared the analytic and clinical performance of the three platforms, using 262 archived respiratory samples positive or negative to common viruses regularly examined in our laboratory (influenza A, B, H1N1pdm, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), human Metapneumovirus (hMPV), parainfluenza-3, adenovirus and negative samples). In addition, quantitated virus controls were used to determine the limit of detection of each extraction method.

In all categories tested, eMAG results were comparable to those of the easyMAG and MagNa PURE 96, highly sensitive for all viruses and over 98% clinical specificity and sensitivity for all viruses tested. Together with its high level of automation, the bioMerieux eMAG is a high-quality extraction platform enabling effective molecular analysis and is mostly suitable for medium-sized laboratories.

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<![CDATA[Phylogeographic analysis of human influenza A and B viruses in Myanmar, 2010–2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7c1d5eed0c48438683f

We investigated the circulation patterns of human influenza A and B viruses in Myanmar between 2010 and 2015 by analyzing full HA genes. Upper respiratory tract specimens were collected from patients with symptoms of influenza-like illness. A total of 2,860 respiratory samples were screened by influenza rapid diagnostic test, of which 1,577 (55.1%) and 810 (28.3%) were positive for influenza A and B, respectively. Of the 1,010 specimens that were positive for virus isolation, 370 (36.6%) were A(H1N1)pdm09, 327 (32.4%) were A(H3N2), 130 (12.9%) B(Victoria), and 183 (18.1%) were B(Yamagata) viruses. Our data showed that influenza epidemics mainly occurred during the rainy season in Myanmar. Our three study sites, Yangon, Pyinmana, and Pyin Oo Lwin had similar seasonality and circulating type and subtype of influenza in a given year. Moreover, viruses circulating in Myanmar during the study period were closely related genetically to those detected in Thailand, India, and China. Phylogeographic analysis showed that A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses in Myanmar originated from Europe and migrated to other countries via Japan. Similarly, A(H3N2) viruses in Myanmar originated from Europe, and disseminated to the various countries via Australia. In addition, Myanmar plays a key role in reseeding of influenza B viruses to Southeast Asia and East Asia as well as Europe and Africa. Thus, we concluded that influenza virus in Myanmar has a strong link to neighboring Asian countries, Europe and Oceania.

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<![CDATA[Rationale for vaccination with trivalent or quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccines: Protective vaccine efficacy in the ferret model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed794d5eed0c484f1441b

Background and aim

The majority of seasonal influenza vaccines are trivalent, containing two A virus strains (H1N1 and H3N2) and one B virus strain. The co-circulation of two distinct lineages of B viruses can lead to mismatch between the influenza B virus strain recommended for the trivalent seasonal vaccine and the circulating B virus. This has led some manufacturers to produce quadrivalent influenza vaccines containing one strain from each B lineage in addition to H1N1 and H3N2 strains. However, it is also important to know whether vaccines containing a single influenza B strain can provide cross-protectivity against viruses of the antigenically distinct lineage. The aim of this study was to assess in naïve ferrets the potential cross-protective activity of trivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (T-LAIV) against challenge with a heterologous wild-type influenza B virus belonging to the genetically different lineage and to compare this activity with effectiveness of quadrivalent LAIV (Q-LAIV) in the ferret model.

Methods and results

Ferrets were vaccinated with either one dose of trivalent LAIV containing B/Victoria or B/Yamagata lineage virus, or quadrivalent LAIV (containing both B lineages), or placebo. They were then challenged with B/Victoria or B/Yamagata lineage wild-type virus 28 days after vaccination. The ferrets were monitored for clinical signs and morbidity. Nasal swabs and lung tissue samples were analyzed for the presence of challenge virus. Antibody response to vaccination was assessed by routine hemagglutination inhibition assay. All LAIVs tested were found to be safe and effective against wild-type influenza B viruses based on clinical signs, and virological and histological data. The absence of interference between vaccine strains in trivalent and quadrivalent vaccine formulations was confirmed. Trivalent LAIVs were shown to have the potential to be cross-protective against infection with genetically different influenza B/Victoria and B/Yamagata lineages.

Conclusions

In this ferret model, quadrivalent vaccine provided higher protection to challenge against both B/Victoria and B/Yamagata lineage viruses. However, T-LAIV provided some cross-protection in the case of a mismatch between circulating and vaccine type B strains. Notably, B/Victoria-based T-LAIV was more protective compared to B/Yamagata-based T-LAIV.

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<![CDATA[Etiology of Influenza-Like Illnesses from Sentinel Network Practitioners in Réunion Island, 2011-2012]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da16ab0ee8fa60b7b62a

In Réunion Island, despite an influenza surveillance established since 1996 by the sentinel general practitioner’s network, little is known about the etiology of Influenza like-illness (ILI) that differs from influenza viruses in a tropical area. We set up a retrospective study using nasal swabs collected by sentinel GPs from ILI patients in 2011 and 2012. A total of 250 swabs were randomly selected and analyzed by multiplex reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) including research of 18 viruses and 4 bacteria. We detected respiratory viruses in 169/222 (76.1%) samples, mostly rhinovirus (23.4%), influenza A virus (21.2%), influenza B virus (12.6%), coronavirus (4.9%) and Human metapneumovirus (3.6%). Nine swabs (5.3% of positive swabs) revealed co-infections with two viruses identified, among which six concerned co-infections with influenza viruses. We observed important seasonal differences, with circulation of Human Metapneumoviruses, RSV A and B and coronavirus only during summer; whereas parainfluenza viruses were identified only during winter. In conclusion, this study highlights a substantial circulation of multiple respiratory pathogens in Réunion Island throughout the year. It shows that ILI are not only attributable to influenza and underlines the need for biological surveillance. As the use of multiplex RT-PCR showed its efficacy, it is now used routinely in the surveillance of ILI.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiological and Virological Characterization of Influenza B Virus Infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da71ab0ee8fa60b94d76

While influenza A viruses comprise a heterogeneous group of clinically relevant influenza viruses, influenza B viruses form a more homogeneous cluster, divided mainly into two lineages: Victoria and Yamagata. This divergence has complicated seasonal influenza vaccine design, which traditionally contained two seasonal influenza A virus strains and one influenza B virus strain. We examined the distribution of the two influenza B virus lineages in Israel, between 2011–2014, in hospitalized and in non-hospitalized (community) influenza B virus-infected patients. We showed that influenza B virus infections can lead to hospitalization and demonstrated that during some winter seasons, both influenza B virus lineages circulated simultaneously in Israel. We further show that the influenza B virus Yamagata lineage was dominant, circulating in the county in the last few years of the study period, consistent with the anti-Yamagata influenza B virus antibodies detected in the serum samples of affected individuals residing in Israel in the year 2014. Interestingly, we found that elderly people were particularly vulnerable to Yamagata lineage influenza B virus infections.

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<![CDATA[Detailed Report on 2014/15 Influenza Virus Characteristics, and Estimates on Influenza Virus Vaccine Effectiveness from Austria’s Sentinel Physician Surveillance Network]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab7ab0ee8fa60bad6ff

Background

Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) is influenced by the antigenic similarity between vaccine- and circulating strains.

Material and Methods

This paper presents data obtained by the Austrian sentinel surveillance system on the evolution of influenza viruses during the season 2014/15 and its impact on influenza vaccine effectiveness in primary care in Austria as estimated by a test-negative case control design. VE estimates were performed for each influenza virus type/subtype, stratified by underlying diseases and adjusted for age, sex and calendar week of infection.

Results

Detailed genetic and antigenic analyses showed that circulating A(H3N2) viruses were genetically distinct from the 2014/15 A(H3N2) vaccine component indicating a profound vaccine mismatch. The Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses were antigenically conserved and matched the respective vaccine component. Influenza B viruses were lineage-matched B/Yamagata viruses with a clade-level variation. Consistent with substantial vaccine mismatch for the A(H3N2) viruses a crude overall VE of only 47% was estimated, whereas the VE estimates for A(H1N1)pdm09 were 84% and for influenza B viruses 70%. Increased VE estimates were obtained after stratification by underlying diseases and adjustment for the covariates sex and age, whereby the adjustment for the calendar week of infection was the covariate exerting the highest influence on adjusted VE estimates.

Conclusion

In summary, VE data obtained in this study underscore the importance to perform VE estimates in the context of detailed characterization of the contributing viruses and also demonstrate that the calendar week of influenza virus infection is the most important confounder of VE estimates.

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<![CDATA[Quantification of Influenza Virus RNA in Aerosols in Patient Rooms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85967

Background

The potential for human influenza viruses to spread through fine particle aerosols remains controversial. The objective of our study was to determine whether influenza viruses could be detected in fine particles in hospital rooms.

Methods and Findings

We sampled the air in 2-bed patient isolation rooms for four hours, placing cyclone samplers at heights of 1.5m and 1.0m. We collected ten air samples each in the presence of at least one patient with confirmed influenza A virus infection, and tested the samples by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. We recovered influenza A virus RNA from 5/10 collections (50%); 4/5 were from particles>4 μm, 1/5 from 1–4 μm, and none in particles<1 μm.

Conclusions

Detection of influenza virus RNA in aerosols at low concentrations in patient rooms suggests that healthcare workers and visitors might have frequent exposure to airborne influenza virus in proximity to infected patients. A limitation of our study was the small sample size. Further studies should be done to quantify the concentration of viable influenza virus in healthcare settings, and factors affecting the detection of influenza viruses in fine particles in the air.

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<![CDATA[Evolution of the neuraminidase gene of seasonal influenza A and B viruses in Thailand between 2010 and 2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcbf5

The neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) oseltamivir and zanamivir are commonly used for the treatment and control of influenza A and B virus infection. However, the emergence of new influenza virus strains with reduced susceptibility to NAIs may appear with the use of these antivirals or even naturally. We therefore screened the neuraminidase (NA) sequences of seasonal influenza virus A(H1N1), A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2), and influenza B virus strains identified in Thailand for the presence of substitutions previously reported to reduce susceptibility to NAIs. We initially examined oseltamivir resistance (characterized by the H275Y mutation in the NA gene) in 485 A(H1N1)pdm09 strains circulating in Thailand and found that 0.82% (4/485) had this substitution. To further evaluate the evolution of the NA gene, we also randomly selected 98 A(H1N1)pdm09, 158 A(H3N2), and 69 influenza B virus strains for NA gene amplification and sequencing, which revealed various amino acid mutations in the active site of the NA protein previously shown to be associated with reduced susceptibility to NAIs. Phylogenetic analysis of the influenza virus strains from this study and elsewhere around the world, together with the estimations of nucleotide substitution rates and selection pressure, and the predictions of B-cell epitopes and N-linked glycosylation sites all provided evidence for the ongoing evolution of NA. The overall rates of NA evolution for influenza A viruses were higher than for influenza B virus at the nucleotide level, although influenza B virus possessed more genealogical diversity than that of influenza A viruses. The continual surveillance of the antigenic changes associated with the NA protein will not only contribute to the influenza virus database but may also provide a better understanding of selection pressure exerted by antiviral use.

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<![CDATA[Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in the Netherlands from 2003/2004 through 2013/2014: The Importance of Circulating Influenza Virus Types and Subtypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1cab0ee8fa60b7d63a

Influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE) varies over different influenza seasons and virus (sub)types/lineages. To assess the association between IVE and circulating influenza virus (sub)types/lineages, we estimated the overall and (sub)type specific IVE in the Netherlands. We conducted a test-negative case control study among subjects with influenza-like illness or acute respiratory tract infection consulting the Sentinel Practices over 11 influenza seasons (2003/2004 through 2013/2014) in the Netherlands. The adjusted IVE was estimated using generalized linear mixed modelling and multiple logistic regression. In seven seasons vaccine strains did not match the circulating viruses. Overall adjusted IVE was 40% (95% CI 18 to 56%) and 20% (95% CI -5 to 38%) when vaccine (partially)matched and mismatched the circulating viruses, respectively. When A(H3N2) was the predominant virus, IVE was 38% (95% CI 14 to 55%). IVE against infection with former seasonal A(H1N1) virus was 83% (95% CI 52 to 94%), and with B virus 67% (95% CI 55 to 76%). In conclusion IVE estimates were particularly low when vaccine mismatched the circulating viruses and A(H3N2) was the predominant influenza virus subtype. Tremendous effort is required to improve vaccine production procedure and to explore the factors that influence the IVE against A(H3N2) virus.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology and Surveillance of Influenza Viruses in Uganda between 2008 and 2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da43ab0ee8fa60b8a9ed

Introduction

Influenza surveillance was conducted in Uganda from October 2008 to December 2014 to identify and understand the epidemiology of circulating influenza strains in out-patient clinic attendees with influenza-like illness and inform control strategies.

Methodology

Surveillance was conducted at five hospital-based sentinel sites. Nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal samples, epidemiological and clinical data were collected from enrolled patients. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to identify and subtype influenza strains. Data were double-entered into an Epi Info 3.5.3 database and exported to STATA 13.0 software for analysis.

Results

Of the 6,628 patient samples tested, influenza virus infection was detected in 10.4% (n = 687/6,628) of the specimens. Several trends were observed: influenza circulates throughout the year with two peaks; the major one from September to November and a minor one from March to June. The predominant strains of influenza varied over the years: Seasonal Influenza A(H3) virus was predominant from 2008 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2014; Influenza A(H1N1)pdm01 was dominant in 2010; and Influenza B virus was dominant in 2011. The peaks generally coincided with times of higher humidity, lower temperature, and higher rainfall.

Conclusion

Influenza circulated throughout the year in Uganda with two major peaks of outbreaks with similar strains circulating elsewhere in the region. Data on the circulating strains of influenza and its patterns of occurrence provided critical insights to informing the design and timing of influenza vaccines for influenza prevention in tropical regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

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<![CDATA[Modes of Transmission of Influenza B Virus in Households]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da38ab0ee8fa60b86e0d

Introduction

While influenza A and B viruses can be transmitted via respiratory droplets, the importance of small droplet nuclei “aerosols” in transmission is controversial.

Methods and Findings

In Hong Kong and Bangkok, in 2008–11, subjects were recruited from outpatient clinics if they had recent onset of acute respiratory illness and none of their household contacts were ill. Following a positive rapid influenza diagnostic test result, subjects were randomly allocated to one of three household-based interventions: hand hygiene, hand hygiene plus face masks, and a control group. Index cases plus their household contacts were followed for 7–10 days to identify secondary infections by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing of respiratory specimens. Index cases with RT-PCR-confirmed influenza B were included in the present analyses. We used a mathematical model to make inferences on the modes of transmission, facilitated by apparent differences in clinical presentation of secondary infections resulting from aerosol transmission. We estimated that approximately 37% and 26% of influenza B virus transmission was via the aerosol mode in households in Hong Kong and Bangkok, respectively. In the fitted model, influenza B virus infections were associated with a 56%–72% risk of fever plus cough if infected via aerosol route, and a 23%–31% risk of fever plus cough if infected via the other two modes of transmission.

Conclusions

Aerosol transmission may be an important mode of spread of influenza B virus. The point estimates of aerosol transmission were slightly lower for influenza B virus compared to previously published estimates for influenza A virus in both Hong Kong and Bangkok. Caution should be taken in interpreting these findings because of the multiple assumptions inherent in the model, including that there is limited biological evidence to date supporting a difference in the clinical features of influenza B virus infection by different modes.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiological and Virological Characteristics of Influenza in Chongqing, China, 2011-2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fcab0ee8fa60b72753

Background

Chongqing is the largest municipality and located in Southwestern of China, with over 30 million registered inhabitants. There are few reports regarding the epidemiology of influenza in Chongqing. The objective of the paper is to explore the epidemiology of influenza in Chongqing, in order to provide scientific basis for prevention and control of influenza.

Methodology /Principal Findings

From 2011 to 2015, we collected information on influenza-like illness (ILI) patients fulfilling the case definition, and took nasalpharyngeal or throat swabs specimens from ILI cases per week at the 7 sentinel hospitals. Specimens were tested by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR) for influenza. Descriptive epidemiology was applied to analyze the epidemiology and etiology of influenza. A total of 9,696,212 cases were enrolled, of which 111,589 were ILI. Of those 24,868 samples from ILI cases, 13.3% (3,314/24,868) tested positive for influenza virus (65.7% influenza A, 34.1% influenza B, and 0.2% influenza A and B co-infection). Among the influenza A viruses, 71.3% were seasonal influenza A(H3N2) and 28.7% were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. No cases of seasonal A(H1N1) were detected. The isolation rate was highest in children aged 5–14 years old. Influenza activity consistently peaked during January-March in 2011–2015, and June-July in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Conclusions

Influenza is an important public health problem among ILI patients in Chongqing, especially among school-aged children. It might be beneficial to prioritize influenza vaccination for school-aged children and implement the school-based intervention to prevent and mitigating influenza outbreaks in Chongqing, particularly during the seasonal peaks.

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<![CDATA[Characteristics of seasonal influenza A and B in Latin America: Influenza surveillance data from ten countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca88

Introduction

The increased availability of influenza surveillance data in recent years justifies an actual and more complete overview of influenza epidemiology in Latin America. We compared the influenza surveillance systems and assessed the epidemiology of influenza A and B, including the spatio-temporal patterns of influenza epidemics, in ten countries and sub-national regions in Latin America.

Methods

We aggregated the data by year and country and characteristics of eighty-two years were analysed. We calculated the median proportion of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases caused by each virus strain, and compared the timing and amplitude of the primary and secondary peaks between countries.

Results

37,087 influenza cases were reported during 2004–2012. Influenza A and B accounted for a median of 79% and, respectively, 21% of cases in a year. The percentage of influenza A cases that were subtyped was 82.5%; for influenza B, 15.6% of cases were characterized. Influenza A and B were dominant in seventy-five (91%) and seven (9%) years, respectively. In half (51%) of the influenza A years, influenza A(H3N2) was dominant, followed by influenza A(H1N1)pdm2009 (41%) and pre-pandemic A(H1N1) (8%). The primary peak of influenza activity was in June-September in temperate climate countries, with little or no secondary peak. Tropical climate countries had smaller primary peaks taking place in different months and frequently detectable secondary peaks.

Conclusions

We found that good influenza surveillance data exists in Latin America, although improvements can still be made (e.g. a better characterization of influenza B specimens); that influenza B plays a considerable role in the seasonal influenza burden; and that there is substantial heterogeneity of spatio-temporal patterns of influenza epidemics. To improve the effectiveness of influenza control measures in Latin America, tropical climate countries may need to develop innovative prevention strategies specifically tailored to the spatio-temporal patterns of influenza in this region.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology of influenza B/Yamagata and B/Victoria lineages in South Africa, 2005-2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be003b

Background

Studies describing the epidemiology of influenza B lineages in South Africa are lacking.

Methods

We conducted a prospective study to describe the circulation of influenza B/Victoria and B/Yamagata lineages among patients of all ages enrolled in South Africa through three respiratory illness surveillance systems between 2005 and 2014: (i) the Viral Watch (VW) program enrolled outpatients with influenza-like illness (ILI) from private healthcare facilities during 2005–2014; (ii) the influenza-like illnesses program enrolled outpatients in public healthcare clinics (ILI/PHC) during 2012–2014; and (iii) the severe acute respiratory illnesses (SARI) program enrolled inpatients from public hospitals during 2009–2014. Influenza B viruses were detected by virus isolation during 2005 to 2009 and by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction from 2009–2014. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of patients hospitalized with SARI and infected with different influenza B lineages were also compared using unconditional logistic regression.

Results

Influenza viruses were detected in 22% (8,706/39,804) of specimens from patients with ILI or SARI during 2005–2014, of which 24% (2,087) were positive for influenza B. Influenza B viruses predominated in all three surveillance systems in 2010. B/Victoria predominated prior to 2011 (except 2008) whereas B/Yamagata predominated thereafter (except 2012). B lineages co-circulated in all seasons, except in 2013 and 2014 for SARI and ILI/PHC surveillance. Among influenza B-positive SARI cases, the detection of influenza B/Yamagata compared to influenza B/Victoria was significantly higher in individuals aged 45–64 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 4.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1–16.5) and ≥65 years (aOR: 12.2; 95% CI: 2.3–64.4) compared to children aged 0–4 years, but was significantly lower in HIV-infected patients (aOR: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.2–0.9).

Conclusion

B lineages co-circulated in most seasons except in 2013 and 2014. Hospitalized SARI cases display differential susceptibility for the two influenza B lineages, with B/Victoria being more prevalent among children and HIV-infected persons.

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<![CDATA[Whole-Genome Phylogenetic Analysis of Influenza B/Phuket/3073/2013-Like Viruses and Unique Reassortants Detected in Malaysia between 2012 and 2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca1d

Reassortment of genetic segments between and within influenza B lineages (Victoria and Yamagata) has been shown to generate novel reassortants with unique genetic characteristics. Based on hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes, recent surveillance study has identified reassortment properties in B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus, which is currently used in the WHO-recommended influenza vaccine. To understand the potential reassortment patterns for all gene segments, four B/Phuket/3073/2013-like viruses and two unique reassortants (one each from Yamagata and Victoria) detected in Malaysia from 2012–2014 were subjected to whole-genome sequencing. Each gene was phylogenetically classified into lineages, clades and sub-clades. Three B/Phuket/3073/2013-like viruses from Yamagata lineage were found to be intra-clade reassortants, possessing PA and NA genes derived from Stockholm/12-like sub-clade, while the remaining genes from Wisconsin/01-like sub-clade (both sub-clades were within Yamagata Clade 3/Yam-3). However, the other B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus had NS gene that derived from Stockholm/12-like sub-clade instead of Wisconsin/01-like sub-clade. One inter-clade reassortant had Yamagata Clade 2/Yam-2-derived HA and NP, and its remaining genes were Yam-3-derived. Within Victoria Clade 1/Vic-1 in Victoria lineage, one virus had intra-clade reassortment properties: HA and PB2 from Vic-1B sub-clade, MP and NS from a unique sub-clade “Vic-1C”, and the remaining genes from Vic-1A sub-clade. Although random reassortment event may generate unique reassortants, detailed phylogenetic classification of gene segments showed possible genetic linkage between PA and NA genes in B/Phuket/3073/2013-like viruses, which requires further investigation. Understanding on reassortment patterns in influenza B evolution may contribute to future vaccine design.

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<![CDATA[Sensitive Detection and Simultaneous Discrimination of Influenza A and B Viruses in Nasopharyngeal Swabs in a Single Assay Using Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Diagnostics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daffab0ee8fa60bc5f32

Reassortment of 2009 (H1N1) pandemic influenza virus (pdH1N1) with other strains may produce more virulent and pathogenic forms, detection and their rapid characterization is critical. In this study, we reported a “one-size-fits-all” approach using a next-generation sequencing (NGS) detection platform to extensively identify influenza viral genomes for diagnosis and determination of novel virulence and drug resistance markers. A de novo module and other bioinformatics tools were used to generate contiguous sequence and identify influenza types/subtypes. Of 162 archived influenza-positive patient specimens, 161(99.4%) were positive for either influenza A or B viruses determined using the NGS assay. Among these, 135(83.3%) were A(H3N2), 14(8.6%) were A(pdH1N1), 2(1.2%) were A(H3N2) and A(pdH1N1) virus co-infections and 10(6.2%) were influenza B viruses. Of the influenza A viruses, 66.7% of A(H3N2) viruses tested had a E627K mutation in the PB2 protein, and 87.8% of the influenza A viruses contained the S31N mutation in the M2 protein. Further studies demonstrated that the NGS assay could achieve a high level of sensitivity and reveal adequate genetic information for final laboratory confirmation. The current diagnostic platform allows for simultaneous identification of a broad range of influenza viruses, monitoring emerging influenza strains with pandemic potential that facilitating diagnostics and antiviral treatment in the clinical setting and protection of the public health.

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<![CDATA[Determination of influenza B identity and potency in quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines using lineage-specific monoclonal antibodies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc8db

Co-circulation of two antigenically and genetically distinct lineages of influenza B virus, represented by prototype viruses B/Victoria/2/1987 and B/Yamagata/16/1988, has led to the development of quadrivalent influenza vaccines that contain two influenza B antigens. The inclusion of two influenza B antigens presents challenges for the production and regulation of inactivated quadrivalent vaccines, including the potential for cross-reactivity of the reagents used in identity and potency assays because of the relative close relatedness of the hemagglutinin (HA) from the two virus lineages. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for the two lineages of influenza B HA were generated and characterized and used to set-up simple identity tests that distinguish the influenza B antigens in inactivated trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines. The lineage-specific mAbs bound well to the HA of influenza B strains included in influenza vaccines over a period of more than 10 years, suggesting that identity tests using such lineage-specific mAbs would not necessarily have to be updated with every influenza B vaccine strain change. These lineage-specific mAbs were also used in an antibody capture ELISA format to quantify HA in vaccine samples, including monovalent, trivalent, and quadrivalent vaccine samples from various manufacturers. The results demonstrated correlation with HA values determined by the traditional single radial immunodiffusion (SRID) assay. Further, the antibody-capture ELISA was able to distinguish heat-stressed vaccine from unstressed vaccine, and was similar to the SRID in quantifying the resultant loss of potency. These mAb reagents should be useful for further development of antibody-based alternative influenza B identity and potency assays.

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