Background. Yearly influenza epidemics have considerable effects on public health worldwide. The 2017-2018 influenza season in Italy was of greater severity than previous seasons. The aim of this study was to describe the 2017-2018 influenza season in Southern Italy and the molecular characteristics of the circulating viral strains. Methods. The incidence of influenza-like illness (ILI) was analysed. Nasopharyngeal swabs collected from patients with ILI from week 46/2017 to week 17/2018 were tested to identify influenza A viruses (IAV) and influenza B viruses (IBV). Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of haemagglutinin genes were also performed on 73 positive samples (35 IBV, 36 IAV H1, and 2 IAV H3 strains). Results. During the 2017-2018 season, the peak incidence was 14.32 cases per 1,000 inhabitants. IBV strains were identified in 71.0% of cases. The 35 characterised IBV strains belonged to Yamagata lineage clade 3, the 36 A/H1N1pdm09 strains clustered with the genetic subgroup 6B.1, and the 2 A/H3N2 strains clustered with the genetic subgroup 3C.2a. Intensive-care unit (ICU) admission was required in 50 cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Among the >64-year age group, 18 out of 26 ICU-ARDS cases (69.2%) were caused by IBV, and 14 of these (77.8%) were B/Yamagata lineage. Conclusions. The 2017-2018 influenza season was one of the most severe in a decade in Southern Italy. IBV mismatch between the trivalent vaccine and the circulating strains occurred. The high number of ICU-ARDS cases caused by B/Yamagata strains in the >64-year age group suggests that further data on the effectiveness of the available influenza vaccines are needed to determine the best way to protect the elderly against both IBV lineages.

High public-health impact in an influenza-b-mismatch season in southern Italy, 2017-2018

Loconsole D.;De Robertis A. L.;Casulli D.;Mallamaci R.;Baldacci S.;Quarto M.;ACCOGLI, MARISA;Chironna M.
2019

Abstract

Background. Yearly influenza epidemics have considerable effects on public health worldwide. The 2017-2018 influenza season in Italy was of greater severity than previous seasons. The aim of this study was to describe the 2017-2018 influenza season in Southern Italy and the molecular characteristics of the circulating viral strains. Methods. The incidence of influenza-like illness (ILI) was analysed. Nasopharyngeal swabs collected from patients with ILI from week 46/2017 to week 17/2018 were tested to identify influenza A viruses (IAV) and influenza B viruses (IBV). Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of haemagglutinin genes were also performed on 73 positive samples (35 IBV, 36 IAV H1, and 2 IAV H3 strains). Results. During the 2017-2018 season, the peak incidence was 14.32 cases per 1,000 inhabitants. IBV strains were identified in 71.0% of cases. The 35 characterised IBV strains belonged to Yamagata lineage clade 3, the 36 A/H1N1pdm09 strains clustered with the genetic subgroup 6B.1, and the 2 A/H3N2 strains clustered with the genetic subgroup 3C.2a. Intensive-care unit (ICU) admission was required in 50 cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Among the >64-year age group, 18 out of 26 ICU-ARDS cases (69.2%) were caused by IBV, and 14 of these (77.8%) were B/Yamagata lineage. Conclusions. The 2017-2018 influenza season was one of the most severe in a decade in Southern Italy. IBV mismatch between the trivalent vaccine and the circulating strains occurred. The high number of ICU-ARDS cases caused by B/Yamagata strains in the >64-year age group suggests that further data on the effectiveness of the available influenza vaccines are needed to determine the best way to protect the elderly against both IBV lineages.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/242686
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