Age-specific genetic and antigenic variations of influenza viruses have not been documented in tropical and subtropical regions. We implemented a systematic surveillance program in two tertiary hospitals in Hong Kong Island, to collect 112 A(H1N1)pdm09 and 254 A(H3N2) positive specimens from 2013 to 2014. Of these, 56 and 72 were identified as genetic variants of the WHO recommended vaccine composition strains, respectively. A subset of these genetic variants was selected for hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) tests, but none appeared to be antigenic variants of the vaccine composition strains. We also found that genetic and antigenicity variations were similar across sex and age groups of ≤18 yrs, 18 to 65 yrs, and ≥65 yrs. Our findings suggest that none of the age groups led other age groups in genetic evolution of influenza virus A strains. Future studies from different regions and longer study periods are needed to further investigate the age and sex heterogeneity of influenza viruses.
|Publication status||Published - 25 Jul 2016|
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