Objectives: To report epidemiological and virological results of an outbreak investigation of influenza-like illness (ILI) among refugees in Northern Italy. Study design: Outbreak investigation of ILI cases observed among nearly 100 refugees in Northern Italy unvaccinated for influenza. Methods: An epidemiological investigation matched with a differential diagnosis was carried out for each sample collected from ILI cases to identify 10 viral pathogens (SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus type A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza viruses, rhinovirus, enterovirus, parechovirus, and adenovirus) by using specific real-time PCR assays according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols. In cases where the influenza virus type was identified, complete hemagglutinin (HA) gene sequencing and the related phylogenetic analysis were conducted. Results: The outbreak was caused by influenza A(H3N2): the attack rate was 83.3% in children aged 9-14 years, 84.6% in those aged 15-24 years, and 28.6% in adults ≥25 years. Phylogenetic analyses uncovered that A(H3N2) strains were closely related since they segregated in the same cluster, showing both a high mean nucleotide identity (100%), all belonging to the genetic sub-group 3C.2a1b.2a.2, as those mainly circulating into the general population in the same period. Conclusions: The fact that influenza outbreak strains as well as the community strains were genetically related to the seasonal vaccine strain suggests that if an influenza prevention by vaccination strategy had been implemented, a lower attack rate of A(H3N2) and ILI cases might have been achieved.

Real-time investigation of an influenza A(H3N2) virus outbreak in a refugee community, November 2022 / C. Galli, G. Mazzola, M. Arosio, L. Pellegrinelli, A. Boldrini, D. Guarneri, E. Lombarda, C. Farina, D. Cereda, E. Pariani. - In: PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1476-5616. - 230:(2024 May), pp. 157-162. [10.1016/j.puhe.2024.02.027]

Real-time investigation of an influenza A(H3N2) virus outbreak in a refugee community, November 2022

C. Galli
Primo
;
G. Mazzola;L. Pellegrinelli;D. Guarneri;D. Cereda;E. Pariani
Ultimo
2024

Abstract

Objectives: To report epidemiological and virological results of an outbreak investigation of influenza-like illness (ILI) among refugees in Northern Italy. Study design: Outbreak investigation of ILI cases observed among nearly 100 refugees in Northern Italy unvaccinated for influenza. Methods: An epidemiological investigation matched with a differential diagnosis was carried out for each sample collected from ILI cases to identify 10 viral pathogens (SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus type A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza viruses, rhinovirus, enterovirus, parechovirus, and adenovirus) by using specific real-time PCR assays according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols. In cases where the influenza virus type was identified, complete hemagglutinin (HA) gene sequencing and the related phylogenetic analysis were conducted. Results: The outbreak was caused by influenza A(H3N2): the attack rate was 83.3% in children aged 9-14 years, 84.6% in those aged 15-24 years, and 28.6% in adults ≥25 years. Phylogenetic analyses uncovered that A(H3N2) strains were closely related since they segregated in the same cluster, showing both a high mean nucleotide identity (100%), all belonging to the genetic sub-group 3C.2a1b.2a.2, as those mainly circulating into the general population in the same period. Conclusions: The fact that influenza outbreak strains as well as the community strains were genetically related to the seasonal vaccine strain suggests that if an influenza prevention by vaccination strategy had been implemented, a lower attack rate of A(H3N2) and ILI cases might have been achieved.
A(H3N2); Acute respiratory infection (ARI); Attack rate; Differential virological diagnosis; Influenza-like illness (ILI); Outbreak investigation; Phylogenetic analysis; Refugee
Settore MED/42 - Igiene Generale e Applicata
   One Health Basic and Translational Research Actions addressing Unmet Need on Emerging Infectious Diseases (INF-ACT)
   INF-ACT
   MINISTERO DELL'UNIVERSITA' E DELLA RICERCA
   PE00000007
mag-2024
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1046299
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