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J Infect. 1992 Jan;24(1):91-9.

Influenza C virus infection in France.

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  • 1National Influenza Reference Centre for Northern France, Institut Pasteur, Paris.


Little is known of the epidemiology of influenza C virus infections in western Europe and of the exact role of this agent in acute viral respiratory infections. Several tests may be used for detecting antibodies against this agent but the significance of their respective results is not clear. A total of 301 samples of serum was collected from persons aged from 4 months to 88 years living in France in 1988. The samples were tested for the presence of antibodies to influenza C virus by haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) tests and ELISA. The specificity of the results was checked by immunoblotting and by antibody absorption with staphylococcal protein A. Significant HI activity was found in 61% of the 301 samples tested, titres ranging from 20-320; 70% were positive by ELISA with titres ranging from 500 to 32,000. The population tested was divided into four age groups: 0-15 years; 16-30 years; 31-50 years and 51-88 years. The highest rates for positive samples were found in the 16-30 year group (76 and 79% by HI tests and ELISA respectively) as well as significant HI and ELISA geometric mean titres. Positive samples were less common in young children (46 and 50% by HI tests and ELISA respectively) and in the oldest group (44 and 54% respectively). The 31-50 years age group formed an intermediate class. The high prevalence of antibody as well as the significant titres indicate intense circulation of influenza C virus, especially among young adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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