Rev Esp Quimioter 2022; 35(3): 231-235

The Victoria and Yamagata Lineages of Influenza B Viruses, unknown and undervalued


Published: 18 February 2022


The influenza virus B belongs to the family Orthomyxoviriridae and to the genus Influenzavirus B. It has a negative RNA-type genome made up of about 14,648 nucleotides divided into eight different segments that encode about 11 proteins. Before 1980 all influenza B viruses belonged to a single genetic lineage; but in this year two antigenically and genetically distinct lineages emerged which were named B/Victoria/2/1987 and B/Yamagata/16/1988. Intralineage and interlineage genetic exchange processes have been demonstrated; The most frequent of them are those in which the Victoria lineage acquires genes from the Yamagata lineage. It has been proposed that the differences in the evolutionary dynamics of the two lineages are due to the different binding preferences of influenza hemagglutinin to the cellular receptor. The Victoria lineage has shown the ability to bind to cell receptors with sialic acid residues at the α-2,3 and α-2,6 positions; whereas the Yamagata lineage does so exclusively in the human α-2,6 positions of the respiratory tract. Low circulation in recent months may have contributed to the temporary elimination (“extinction”) of the Yamagata lineage. Since 2017, almost all of the strains of this lineage belong to clade 3A, when previously multiple circulating clades were detected. Although this clade 3A is diverse at the genetic level and has acquired surrogate mutations in the hemagglutinin gene, these have not determined significant antigenic changes that have made it necessary to replace its antigenic component (B/Pukhet/3073/2013) in the influenza vaccine since 2015.

Rev Esp Quimioter 2022; 35(3): 231-235 [Texto completo PDF]