2011-06-20Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021340
Prevalence of Antibodies to 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Virus in German Adult Population in Pre- and Post-Pandemic Period
Background: In order to detect levels of pre-existing cross-reactive antibodies in different age groups and to measure agespecific infection rates of the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 pandemic in Germany, we conducted a seroprevalence study based on samples from an ongoing nationwide representative health survey. Methodology/Principal Findings: We analysed 845 pre-pandemic samples collected between 25 Nov 2008 and 28 Apr 2009 and 757 post-pandemic samples collected between 12 Jan 2010 and 24 Apr 2010. Reactive antibodies against 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus (pH1N1) were detected using a haemagglutination inhibition test (antigen A/California/ 7/2009). Proportions of samples with antibodies at titre $40 and geometric mean of the titres (GMT) were calculated and compared among 6 age groups (18–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, $70 years). The highest proportions of cross-reactive antibodies at titre $40 before the pandemic were observed among 18–29 year olds, 12.5% (95% CI 7.3–19.5%). The highest increase in seroprevalence between pre- and post-pandemic was also observed among 18–29 year olds, 29.9% (95% CI 16.7–43.2%). Effects of sampling period (pre- and post-pandemic), age, sex, and prior influenza immunization on titre were investigated with Tobit regression analysis using three birth cohorts (after 1976, between 1957 and 1976, and before 1957). The GMT increased between the pre- and post-pandemic period by a factor of 10.2 (95% CI 5.0–20.7) in the birth cohort born after 1976, 6.3 (95% CI 3.3–11.9) in those born between 1957 and 1976 and 2.4 (95% CI 1.3–4.3) in those born before 1957. Conclusions/Significance: We demonstrate that infection rates differed among age groups and that the measured prepandemic level of cross-reactive antibodies towards pH1N1 did not add information in relation to protection and prediction of the most affected age groups among adults in the pandemic.
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