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PloS one

Fatal Cases of Seasonal Influenza in Russia in 2015-2016.


PMID 27776172

Abstract

The influenza epidemic in 2015-2016 in Russia is characterized by a sharp increase of influenza cases (beginning from the second week of 2016) with increased fatalities. Influenza was confirmed in 20 fatal cases registered among children (0-10 years), in 5 cases among pregnant women, and in 173 cases among elderly people (60 years and older). Two hundred and ninety nine people died from influenza were patients with some chronic problems. The overwhelming majority among the deceased (more than 98%) were not vaccinated against influenza. We isolated 109 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and one A(H3N2) virus strains from 501 autopsy material samples. The antigenic features of the strains were similar to the vaccine strains. A phylogenic analysis of hemagglutinin revealed that influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus strains belonged to 6B genetic group that had two main dominant subgroups during the 2015-2016 season. In Russia strains of the first group predominated. We registered an increased proportion of strains with D222G mutation in receptor-binding site. A herd immunity analysis carried out immediately prior to the epidemic showed that 34.4% blood sera samples collected in different regions of Russia were positive to A/California/07/09(H1N1)pdm09. We came to a conclusion that public awareness enhancement is necessary to reduce unreasonable refusals of vaccination.

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