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Vaccine. 2017 Sep 5;35(37):4828-4835. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.07.057. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

Predominance of influenza A(H3N2) virus genetic subclade 3C.2a1 during an early 2016/17 influenza season in Europe - Contribution of surveillance data from World Health Organization (WHO) European Region to the WHO vaccine composition consultation for northern hemisphere 2017/18.

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European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:
European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden.


During the European 2016/17 influenza season, A(H3N2) viruses have predominated and the majority clustered in genetic subclade 3C.2a1. Genetic analyses showed that circulating viruses have undergone considerable genetic diversification of the haemagglutinin gene from the current vaccine virus A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (clade 3C.2a), but the antigenic data that is limited by the challenges with the antigenic characterisation of currently circulating A(H3N2) viruses, showed no clear evidence of antigenic change. The recommended A(H3N2) vaccine component for the northern hemisphere 2017/18 influenza season remained unchanged. However, early and mid-season vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates were suggestive of reduced VE against A(H3N2) viruses.


A(H3N2); Amino acid substitution; Emergence; Europe; Influenza virus; Season; Surveillance

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