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J Infect Dis. 2017 Sep 15;216(suppl_4):S539-S547. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix093.

Effect of Priming With Seasonal Influenza A(H3N2) Virus on the Prevalence of Cross-Reactive Hemagglutination-Inhibition Antibodies to Swine-Origin A(H3N2) Variants.

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Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.



Recent outbreaks of swine-origin influenza A(H3N2) variant (H3N2v) viruses have raised public health concerns. Previous studies indicated that older children and young adults had the highest levels of hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies to 2010-2011 H3N2v viruses. However, newly emerging 2013 H3N2v have acquired antigenic mutations in the hemagglutinin at amino acid position 145 (N145K/R). We estimated the levels of serologic cross-reactivity among humans primed with seasonal influenza A(H3N2) (sH3N2), using postinfection ferret antisera. We also explored age-related HI antibody responses to 2012-2013 H3N2v viruses.


Human and ferret antisera were tested in HI assays against 1 representative 2012 H3N2v (145N) and 2 2013 H3N2v (145K/R) viruses, together with 9 sH3N2 viruses circulating since 1968.


Low levels of cross-reactivity between the H3N2v and sH3N2 viruses from the 1970s-1990s were observed using postinfection ferret antisera. The overall seroprevalence among the sH3N2-primed population against 2012-2013 H3N2v viruses was >50%, and age-related seroprevalence was observed. Seroprevalence was significantly higher to 2013 H3N2v than to 2012 H3N2v viruses among some children likely to have been primed with A/Sydney/5/97-like (145K) or A/Wuhan/359/95-like viruses (145K).


A single substitution (N145K/R) was sufficient to affect seropositivity to H3N2v viruses in some individuals. Insight into age-related antibody responses to newly emerging H3N2v viruses is critical for risk assessment and pandemic preparedness.


Seroprevalence study; antigenic analysis; human seasonal Influenza A(H3N2) viruses; serum HI antibody response; swine-origin Influenza A(H3N2) variant viruses

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