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Rev Esp Quimioter 2018; November 5

Description of Influenza B in seasonal epidemics in Spain

RAÚL ORTIZ DE LEJARAZU, JAVIER DÍEZ DOMINGO, ÁNGEL GIL DE MIGUEL, FEDERICO MARTINÓN TORRES, CARLOS GUZMÁN QUILO, JOSÉ MARÍA GUILLÉN, BLANCA PIEDRAFITA, ESTHER REDONDO MARGUELLO

Introduction. Seasonal influenza epidemics are a major public health concern. They are caused by the influenza A and B viruses; although the A virus is more prominent, influenza B virus infection causes a disease with similar characteristics. There are two phylogenetically distinct influenza B lineages (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata), only one of which is present in the trivalent vaccine formulated each season.
Methods. Epidemiological data from the Spanish Influenza Surveillance System for 2007 to 2017 were reviewed to establish the relative proportion of each type of virus and the characterization of the B lineages in relation to the composition of the trivalent vaccine.
Results. The median proportion of B (2007-2017) was 27.2% (0.7%-74.8%) vs. 16.3% (0.4%-98.6%) for A-H3 and 44.2% (0.1%-98.0%) for pandemic A-H1N1 (20092017). The B lineages co-circulated in 8/10 seasons and there was mismatch with the B vaccine strain in 4/10 seasons. The B virus was dominant in 2007/08 and 2012/13 throughout Spain. There was a combination of dominance/codominance of influenza B and mismatch with the vaccine lineage in at least one third of epidemic seasons reviewed.
Conclusions. Epidemiological information on influenza B has been less compiled in comparison with data on the A virus. Influenza virus type B is responsible for a significant number of cases in almost all seasons. The predominant B lineage in each season is unpredictable, affecting the protection conferred by the seasonal vaccine. Spanish epidemiological data support the rationale for a quadrivalent vaccine with both B virus lineages similarly to data from other settings.

Rev Esp Quimioter 2018; November 5  [Texto completo PDF]