Circulation of Influenza Virus in the 2015/2016 Epidemic Season in Poland: Serological Evaluation of Anti-hemagglutinin Antibodies
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The diagnostic of influenza virus infections is possible using molecular biology methods as well as the analysis of anti-hemagglutinin (anti-HA) antibodies in the blood serum. The aim of this study was to determine the level of anti-HA antibodies in 7 age groups of patients during the 2015/2016 epidemic season in Poland. A total of 1050 serum samples were tested using the hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay. We confirmed the presence of anti-HA antibodies for the influenza virus strains: A/California/7/2009(H1N1)pdm09, A/Switzerland/9715293/2013(H3N2), and B/Phuket/3073/2013, which were the components of the influenza vaccine for the 2015/2016 epidemic season. The level of specific anti-HA antibodies was different in each age group. The geometric mean titers were highest at age 5–9 years, where the antibody protection level reached 61.3% against B/Phuket/3073/2013 and 52.7% for A/Switzerland/9715293/2013(H3N2) antigen. The antibody level amounted to 56.7% against for antigen B at age 45–64. In the remaining age groups, the protection levels for all hemagglutinin types did not exceed 50%. These findings confirm the urgent need to increase a persistently low influenza vaccination coverage in the Polish population, which may have had its part in the noticeable increase in the confirmed cases of influenza and influenza-like virus infection during the season.
KeywordsAntihemagglutinin antibodies Epidemic season Hemagglutination inhibition assay Infection Influenza Rate of protection
Funded by NIPH–NIH research grant 3/EM. We acknowledge physicians and employees of Voivodship Sanitary Epidemiologic Stations, participating in the SENTINEL and NON-SENTINEL programs for their input into the influenza surveillance in Poland. We would like to thank the Malec Company for providing fertilized chicken embryos.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.
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