Influenza C in Lancaster, UK, in the winter of 2014-2015

Atkinson, Kate V. and Bishop, Lisa A. and Rhodes, Glenn and Salez, Nicolas and McEwan, Neil R. and Hegarty, Matthew J. and Robey, Julie and Harding, Nicola and Wetherell, Simon and Lauder, Robert M. and Pickup, Roger W. and Wilkinson, Mark and Gatherer, Derek (2017) Influenza C in Lancaster, UK, in the winter of 2014-2015. Scientific Reports, 7: 46578. ISSN 2045-2322

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Influenza C is not included in the annual seasonal influenza vaccine, and has historically been regarded as a minor respiratory pathogen. However, recent work has highlighted its potential role as a cause of pneumonia in infants. We performed nasopharyngeal or nasal swabbing and/or serum sampling (n = 148) in Lancaster, UK, over the winter of 2014-2015. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we obtain seropositivity of 77%. By contrast, only 2 individuals, both asymptomatic adults, were influenza C-positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Deep sequencing of nasopharyngeal samples produced partial sequences for 4 genome segments in one of these patients. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the influenza C genome from this individual is evolutionarily distant to those sampled in recent years and represents a novel genome constellation, indicating that it may be a product of a decades-old reassortment event. Although we find no evidence that influenza C was a significant respiratory pathogen during the winter of 2014-2015 in Lancaster, we confirm previous observations of seropositivity in the majority of the population. (170 words).

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Journal Article
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Scientific Reports
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26 Apr 2017 14:58
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 16:56