PLoS pathogens. 2008-08-22; 4.8: e1000133.

Molecular epidemiology of A/H3N2 and A/H1N1 influenza virus during a single epidemic season in the United States

Nelson MI, Edelman L, Spiro DJ, Boyne AR, Bera J, Halpin R, Sengamalay N, Ghedin E, Miller MA, Simonsen L, Viboud C, Holmes EC

PMID: 18725925


To determine the spatial and temporal dynamics of influenza A virus during a single epidemic, we examined whole-genome sequences of 284 A/H1N1 and 69 A/H3N2 viruses collected across the continental United States during the 2006-2007 influenza season, representing the largest study of its kind undertaken to date. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that multiple clades of both A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 entered and co-circulated in the United States during this season, even in localities that are distant from major metropolitan areas, and with no clear pattern of spatial spread. In addition, co-circulating clades of the same subtype exchanged genome segments through reassortment, producing both a minor clade of A/H3N2 viruses that appears to have re-acquired sensitivity to the adamantane class of antiviral drugs, as well as a likely antigenically distinct A/H1N1 clade that became globally dominant following this season. Overall, the co-circulation of multiple viral clades during the 2006-2007 epidemic season revealed patterns of spatial spread that are far more complex than observed previously, and suggests a major role for both migration and reassortment in shaping the epidemiological dynamics of human influenza A virus.

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