Karunarathna HMTK, et al. Serum anti-neuraminidase antibody responses in human influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infections. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2019;8(1):404-412.
Haemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody titres are a correlate of protection for influenza virus infection, but several studies have also demonstrated the protective role of anti-neuraminidase (anti-NA) antibodies. However, there is limited data on anti-NA antibody responses in naturally occurring human influenza. We investigated anti-NA antibody responses to pandemic N1 and seasonal N1 in 18 RT-PCR-confirmed patients with naturally acquired pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 disease detected as part of a prospective community study of influenza. There were increases in neuraminidase inhibition (NAI) antibody titres to both pandemic and seasonal N1 antigens, with greater fold increases in those who had low levels of anti-pandemic N1 titres in acute sera. Of 18 patients with pandemic H1N1 infection, fourfold increases in antibody were observed by HAI in 11 (61%) patients, by anti-pandemic N1 inhibition in 13 (72%) or either in 15 of them (83%). Prior seasonal H1N1 virus infections had elicited cross-reactive anti-pandemic N1 antibody titres in some people prior to the emergence of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus. Antibody responses to the anti-N1 pandemic 2009 virus and cross-reactive responses to anti-seasonal N1 antibody were seen in influenza A pandemic 2009 infections. NAI antibodies can complement HAI antibody in sero-diagnosis and sero-epidemiology.
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