Ilyicheva T, Marchenko V, Pyankova O, Moiseeva A,. Antibodies to Highly Pathogenic A/H5Nx (Clade 126.96.36.199) Influenza Viruses in the Sera of Vietnamese Residents. Pathogens. 2021 Mar 25;10(4):394
To cause a pandemic, an influenza virus has to overcome two main barriers. First, the virus has to be antigenically new to humans. Second, the virus has to be directly transmitted from humans to humans. Thus, if the avian influenza virus is able to pass the second barrier, it could cause a pandemic, since there is no immunity to avian influenza in the human population. To determine whether the adaptation process is ongoing, analyses of human sera could be conducted in populations inhabiting regions where pandemic virus variant emergence is highly possible. This study aimed to analyze the sera of Vietnamese residents using hemagglutinin inhibition reaction (HI) and microneutralization (MN) with A/H5Nx (clade 188.8.131.52) influenza viruses isolated in Vietnam and the Russian Federation in 2017-2018. In this study, we used sera from 295 residents of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam collected from three groups: 52 samples were collected from households in Nam Dinh province, where poultry deaths have been reported (2017); 96 (2017) and 147 (2018) samples were collected from patients with somatic but not infectious diseases in Hanoi. In all, 65 serum samples were positive for HI, at least to one H5 virus used in the study. In MN, 47 serum samples neutralizing one or two viruses at dilutions of 1/40 or higher were identified. We postulate that the rapidly evolving A/H5Nx (clade 184.108.40.206) influenza virus is possibly gradually adapting to the human host, insofar as healthy individuals have antibodies to a wide spectrum of variants of that subtype.
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