Incidence of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Infection, United Kingdom, 2009–2011 - Vol. 19 No. 11 - November 2013 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 19, Number 11—November 2013
Incidence of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Infection, United Kingdom, 2009–2011
Case-based population-level surveillance and cross-sectional serologic surveys to estimate incidence and patterns of influenza infection are limited by the lack of accurate denominator data, inability to account for subclinical infections, difficulties in distinguishing between antibodies induced by natural infection and vaccination, and use of samples from high-risk groups. For these reasons, community-based longitudinal studies are ideal to estimate the incidence of infection and spectrum of illness. However, studies of this design describing the 2009 pandemic of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, reported only from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam, examine only the 2009–10 season (1–3).
AbstractWe conducted a longitudinal community cohort study of healthy adults in the UK. We found significantly higher incidence of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection in 2010–11 than in 2009–10, a substantial proportion of subclinical infection, and higher risk for infection during 2010–11 among persons with lower preinfection antibody titers.
The epidemiology of A(H1N1)pdm09 in the United Kingdom during 2009–2011 was characterized by 3 distinct waves: first wave, April–August 2009; second wave, September 2009–April 2010; and third wave, August 2010–April 2011. We report results from a community-based longitudinal cohort study that compared the epidemiology of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection over the second and third waves. The North West London Research Ethics Committee approved this study (reference 09/H0724/27).
A total of 342 healthy adult staff and students of Imperial College London (London, UK) were recruited during September–November 2009 and followed for 2 consecutive influenza seasons: 2009–10 and 2010–11 (Figure 1). Participants’ median age was 28 years (interquartile range 20–36 years); 83% were < 40 years of age. At each time point, collected serum samples were tested for antibodies to A(H1N1)pdm09 virus (A/England/195/09 strain) by the hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) assay (4). Participants were asked to record temperature, self-sample, and return nasal swabs when experiencing influenza-like symptoms. Swabs were tested for respiratory viruses with standardized real-time reverse transcription PCR. Influenza seroprevalence rates were defined as the proportion of persons with HI titers > 32 (4).