Influenza B virus in seals
ABSTRACT Influenza B virus is a human pathogen whose origin and possible reservoir in nature are not known. An influenza B virus was isolated from a naturally infected harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) and was found to be infectious to seal kidney cells in vitro. Sequence analyses and serology indicated that influenza virus B/Seal/Netherlands/1/99 is closely related to strains that circulated in humans 4 to 5 years earlier. Retrospective analyses of sera collected from 971 seals showed a prevalence of antibodies to influenza B virus in 2% of the animals after 1995 and in none before 1995. This animal reservoir, harboring influenza B viruses that have circulated in the past, may pose a direct threat to humans.
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ABSTRACT: Background Despite the public health significance of annual influenza outbreaks, the literature comparing the epidemiology of influenza A and B infections is limited and dated and may not reflect recent trends. In Canada, the relative contribution of influenza A and B to the burden of morbidity is not well understood. We examined rates of laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza A and B (LCI-A and LCI-B) in the Canadian province of Manitoba between 1993 and 2008 and compared cases of the two types in terms of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics.Methods Laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza A and B in Manitoba between 1993 and 2008 were identified from the Cadham Provincial Laboratory (CPL) Database and linked to de-identified provincial administrative health records. Crude and age-adjusted incidence rates of LCI-A and LCI-B were calculated. Demographic characteristics, health status, health service use, and vaccination history were compared by influenza type.ResultsOver the study period, 1,404 of LCI-A and 445 cases of LCI-B were diagnosed, corresponding to an annual age-standardized rate of 7.2 (95% CI: 6.5-7.9) for LCI-A and 2.2 (CI: 1.5 ¿ 3.0) per 100,000 person-years for LCI-B. Annual rates fluctuated widely but there was less variation in the LCI-B rates. For LCI-A, but not LCI-B, incidence was inversely related to household income. Older age, urban residence and past hospitalization were associated with increased detection of LCI-A whereas receipt of the influenza vaccine was associated with decreased LCI-A detection. Once socio-demographic variables were controlled, having a pre-existing chronic disease or immune suppression was not related to influenza type.Conclusion Influenza A and B affected different segments of the population. Older age was associated with increased LCI-A detection, but not pre-existing chronic diseases. This information may be useful to public health professionals in planning and evaluating new and existing seasonal influenza vaccines.BMC Public Health 01/2015; 15(1):35. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1351-z · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Influenza B virus remains a major contributor to the seasonal influenza outbreak and its prevalence has increased worldwide. We investigated the epidemiology and analyzed the full genome sequences of influenza B virus strains in Thailand between 2010 and 2014. Samples from the upper respiratory tract were collected from patients diagnosed with influenza like-illness. All samples were screened for influenza A/B viruses by one-step multiplex real-time RT-PCR. The whole genome of 53 influenza B isolates were amplified, sequenced, and analyzed. From 14,418 respiratory samples collected during 2010 to 2014, a total of 3,050 tested positive for influenza virus. Approximately 3.27% (471/14,418) were influenza B virus samples. Fifty three isolates of influenza B virus were randomly chosen for detailed whole genome analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of the HA gene showed clusters in Victoria clades 1A, 1B, 3, 5 and Yamagata clades 2 and 3. Both B/Victoria and B/Yamagata lineages were found to co-circulate during this time. The NA sequences of all isolates belonged to lineage II and consisted of viruses from both HA Victoria and Yamagata lineages, reflecting possible reassortment of the HA and NA genes. No significant changes were seen in the NA protein. The phylogenetic trees generated through the analysis of the PB1 and PB2 genes closely resembled that of the HA gene, while trees generated from the analysis of the PA, NP, and M genes showed similar topology. The NS gene exhibited the pattern of genetic reassortment distinct from those of the PA, NP or M genes. Thus, antigenic drift and genetic reassortment among the influenza B virus strains were observed in the isolates examined. Our findings indicate that the co-circulation of two distinct lineages of influenza B viruses and the limitation of cross-protection of the current vaccine formulation provide support for quadrivalent influenza vaccine in this region.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0116302. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116302 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Domestic poultry serve as intermediates for transmission of influenza A virus from the wild aquatic bird reservoir to humans, resulting in influenza outbreaks in poultry and potential epidemics/pandemics among human beings. To combat emerging avian influenza virus, an inexpensive, heat-stable, and orally administered influenza vaccine would be useful to vaccinate large commercial poultry flocks and even migratory birds. Our hypothesized vaccine is a recombinant attenuated bacterial strain able to mediate production of attenuated influenza virus in vivo to induce protective immunity against influenza. Here we report the feasibility and technical limitations toward such an ideal vaccine based on our exploratory study. Five 8-unit plasmids carrying a chloramphenicol resistance gene or free of an antibiotic resistance marker were constructed. Influenza virus was successfully generated in avian cells transfected by each of the plasmids. The Salmonella carrier was engineered to allow stable maintenance and conditional release of the 8-unit plasmid into the avian cells for recovery of influenza virus. Influenza A virus up to 107 50% tissue culture infective doses (TCID50)/ml were recovered from 11 out of 26 co-cultures of chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF) and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells upon infection by the recombinant Salmonella carrying the 8-unit plasmid. Our data prove that a bacterial carrier can mediate generation of influenza virus by delivering its DNA cargoes into permissive host cells. Although we have made progress in developing this Salmonella influenza virus vaccine delivery system, further improvements are necessary to achieve efficient virus production, especially in vivo.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119041. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119041 · 3.53 Impact Factor