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Influenza C in Lancaster, UK, in the winter of 2014-2015

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Article number46578
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>13/04/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Influenza C is not included in the annual seasonal influenza vaccine, and has historically been regarded as a minor respiratory pathogen. However, recent work has highlighted its potential role as a cause of pneumonia in infants. We performed nasopharyngeal or nasal swabbing and/or serum sampling (n = 148) in Lancaster, UK, over the winter of 2014-2015. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we obtain seropositivity of 77%. By contrast, only 2 individuals, both asymptomatic adults, were influenza C-positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Deep sequencing of nasopharyngeal samples produced partial sequences for 4 genome segments in one of these patients. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the influenza C genome from this individual is evolutionarily distant to those sampled in recent years and represents a novel genome constellation, indicating that it may be a product of a decades-old reassortment event. Although we find no evidence that influenza C was a significant respiratory pathogen during the winter of 2014-2015 in Lancaster, we confirm previous observations of seropositivity in the majority of the population. (170 words).