Incidence of H1N1 2009 virus infection through the analysis of paired plasma specimens among blood donors, France.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Knowledge of the age-specific prevalence of seroprotection and incidence of seroconversion infection is necessary to complement clinical surveillance data and statistical models. It provides the basis for estimating the future impact of influenza A (H1N1pdm09) and implementing appropriate prevention and response strategies. METHODS: Using a cross-sectional design, two-stage stratified sampling and paired plasma samples, we estimated the age-specific prevalence of a protective level of H1N1pdm09 antibodies in the French adult population before and after the 2009/10 pandemic, and the proportion of those susceptible that seroconverted due to infection, from a single sample of 1,936 blood donors aged 20-70 years in mainland France in June 2010. Samples with a haemagglutination inhibition (HI) titre ≥1∶40 were considered seropositive, and seroconversion due to infection was defined as a 4-fold increase in titre in the absence of H1N1pdm09 vaccination or pre-pandemic seropositivity. RESULTS: Out of the 1,936 donors, 1,708 were included in the analysis. Seroprevalence before the pandemic was 6.7% (95% CI 5.0, 8.9) with no significant differences by age-group (p = 0.3). Seroprevalence afterwards was 23.0% (95% CI 17.7, 29.3) with 20-29 year olds having a higher level than older groups (p<0.001). Seroconversion due to infection was 12.2% (95% CI 6.9, 20.5). Younger age-group, vaccination against H1N1 and being seropositive before the pandemic were strongly associated with post-pandemic seropositivity. CONCLUSIONS: Before the 2009/2010 winter influenza season, only 6.7% of the French mainland population aged 20-70 had a level of antibodies usually considered protective. During the first pandemic wave, 12.2% of the population seroconverted due to infection and the seroprevalence after the wave rose to 23%, either due to prepandemic seropositivity, infection or vaccination. This relatively low latter figure contributed to an extension of target groups for influenza vaccination for the 2010/2011 season.
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PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2012, 7 (3), pp.e33056. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0033056〉
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Angie Bone, Jean-Paul Guthmann, Azzedine Assal, Dominique Rousset, Armelle Degeorges, et al.. Incidence of H1N1 2009 virus infection through the analysis of paired plasma specimens among blood donors, France.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2012, 7 (3), pp.e33056. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0033056〉. 〈inserm-00722692〉

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