Spatiotemporal circulation of influenza viruses in 5 African countries during 2008-2009: a collaborative study of the Institut Pasteur International Network.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Although recent work has described the spatiotemporal diffusion of influenza viruses worldwide, comprehensive data on spatiotemporal patterns of influenza from the African continent and Madagascar are still lacking. METHODS: National Influenza Centers from 5 countries-Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Niger, and Senegal--collected specimens from patients presenting with influenza-like illness who visited sentinel surveillance clinics during a 2-year period (2008-2009). Isolates were genetically and antigenically characterized. RESULTS: Overall, 8312 specimens were tested. Seasonal influenza A virus subtypes H1N1 and H3N2 and influenza B viruses were detected in 329, 689, and 148 specimens, respectively. In 2009, pandemic influenza A virus subtype H1N1 was detected in Madagascar most commonly (98.5% of cases). Influenza activity was either significant year-round or occurred during a specific period of the year in the African countries we evaluated. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that, from Madagascar to Senegal, the epidemiologic and virologic characteristics of influenza viruses are diverse in terms of spatiotemporal circulation of the different virus types, subtypes, and strains. Our data highlight the importance of country-specific surveillance and of data and virus sharing, and they provide a rational basis to aid policy makers to develop strategies, such as vaccination at the right moment and with the right formulation, aimed at reducing the disease burden in Africa and Madagascar.
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Jean-Michel Heraud, Richard Njouom, Dominique Rousset, Herve Kadjo, Valerie Caro, et al.. Spatiotemporal circulation of influenza viruses in 5 African countries during 2008-2009: a collaborative study of the Institut Pasteur International Network.. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2012, 206 Suppl 1, pp.S5-13. ⟨10.1093/infdis/jis541⟩. ⟨pasteur-00835730⟩

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