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Influenza C in Lancaster, UK, in the winter of 2014-2015.

Atkinson, Kate V.; Bishop, Lisa A.; Rhodes, Glenn; Salez, Nicolas; McEwan, Neil R.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Robey, Julie; Harding, Nicola; Wetherell, Simon; Lauder, Robert M.; Pickup, Roger W.; Wilkinson, Mark; Gatherer, Derek


Kate V. Atkinson

Lisa A. Bishop

Glenn Rhodes

Nicolas Salez

Neil R. McEwan

Matthew J. Hegarty

Julie Robey

Nicola Harding

Simon Wetherell

Robert M. Lauder

Roger W. Pickup

Mark Wilkinson

Derek Gatherer


Influenza C is not included in the annual seasonal influenza vaccine, and has historically been regarded as a minor respiratory pathogen. However, recent work has highlighted its potential role as a cause of pneumonia in infants. We performed nasopharyngeal or nasal swabbing and/or serum sampling (n=148) in Lancaster, UK, over the winter of 2014-2015. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we obtain seropositivity of 77%. By contrast, only 2 individuals, both asymptomatic adults, were influenza C-positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Deep sequencing of nasopharyngeal samples produced partial sequences for 4 genome segments in one of these patients. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the influenza C genome from this individual is evolutionarily distant to those sampled in recent years and represents a novel genome constellation, indicating that it may be a product of a decades-old reassortment event. Although we find no evidence that influenza C was a significant respiratory pathogen during the winter of 2014-2015 in Lancaster, we confirm previous observations of seropositivity in the majority of the population.


ATKINSON, K.V., BISHOP, L.A., RHODES, G., SALEZ, N., MCEWAN, N.R., HEGARTY, M.J., ROBEY, J., HARDING, N., WETHERELL, S., LAUDER, R.M., PICKUP, R.W., WILKINSON, M. and GATHERER, D. 2017. Influenza C in Lancaster, UK, in the winter of 2014-2015. Scientific reports [online], 7, article number 46578. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 17, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 13, 2017
Publication Date May 26, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Apr 3, 2018
Journal Scientific Reports
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Article Number 46578
Keywords Influenza virus; Viral evolution; Respiratory pathogen
Public URL


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