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Antigenic surveillance of influenza virus in the period 1995-1996

Antigene surveillance van influenzavirus in de periode 1995-1996

Synopsis

As a consequence of frequent antigenic changes of the virus, the composition of the influenza vaccine is annually adapted by WHO. In this framework, the National Influenza Centre (NIC, a collaboration of RIVM with the Erasmus University Rotterdam) generates and collects influenza virus strains isolated in the Netherlands from patients presenting to general physicians and in hospitals. NIC compares these strains with the vaccine strains recommended by WHO and with other foreign strains. In Europe, including the Netherlands, the influenza epidemic of 1995/96 was early and of an average extension. Subtype A(H3N2) dominated but A(H1N1) and B-viruses were also reported. The antigenic reactivities of the three major influenza virus variants of the seasons 1995 (southern hemisphere) and 1995/96 (northern hemisphere) did not differ significantly from those of the seasons 1994 and 1995/96, or from the vaccine strains used in the 1995/96 season. Therefore, both the infection-acquired and the vaccine-induced immunity will have rendered a relative good protection against influenza virus infections in 1995/96.
 

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