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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Nov 4;111(44):15798-803. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1409171111. Epub 2014 Oct 20.

Potential antigenic explanation for atypical H1N1 infections among middle-aged adults during the 2013-2014 influenza season.

Author information

1
Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104; Institute for Immunology.
2
Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104; Department of Microbiology, and.
3
Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104;
4
Emory Vaccine Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322;
5
Department of Vaccine and Viral Immunity, Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida, Port St. Lucie, FL 34987;
6
Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637;
7
New York Blood Center, New York, NY 10065;
8
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104; Clinical Virology Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104;
9
Center for Research in Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, 14080 Mexico City, Mexico; and.
10
Division of Basic Sciences and Computational Biology Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109.
11
Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104; Institute for Immunology, Department of Microbiology, and shensley@wistar.org.

Abstract

Influenza viruses typically cause the most severe disease in children and elderly individuals. However, H1N1 viruses disproportionately affected middle-aged adults during the 2013-2014 influenza season. Although H1N1 viruses recently acquired several mutations in the hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein, classic serological tests used by surveillance laboratories indicate that these mutations do not change antigenic properties of the virus. Here, we show that one of these mutations is located in a region of HA targeted by antibodies elicited in many middle-aged adults. We find that over 42% of individuals born between 1965 and 1979 possess antibodies that recognize this region of HA. Our findings offer a possible antigenic explanation of why middle-aged adults were highly susceptible to H1N1 viruses during the 2013-2014 influenza season. Our data further suggest that a drifted H1N1 strain should be included in future influenza vaccines to potentially reduce morbidity and mortality in this age group.

KEYWORDS:

antibody; antigenic drift; hemagglutinin; influenza; vaccine

PMID:
25331901
PMCID:
PMC4226110
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1409171111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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