Antibodies against H10N8 avian influenza virus among animal workers in Guangdong Province before November 30, 2013, when the first human H10N8 case was recognized.
BACKGROUND: Considered an epicenter of pandemic influenza virus generation, southern China has recently seen an increasing number of human H7N9 infections. However, it is not the only threat. On 30 November 2013, a human H10N8 infection case was first described in China. The origin and genetic diversity of this novel virus is similar to that of H7N9 virus. As H10N8 avian influenza virus (AIV) was first identified from a duck in Guangdong Province during 2012 and there is also evidence of H10N8 infected dogs in this region, we sought to examine archived sera from animal workers to see if there was evidence of subclinical human infections before the first human H10N8 cases. METHODS: We studied archived serum samples (cross-sectional study, convenience sample) collected between May and September 2013 from 710 animal workers and 107 non-animal exposed volunteers living in five cities of Guangdong Province. Study participants' sera were tested by horse red blood cells (RBCs) hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and microneutralization (MN) assays according to World Health Organization guidelines. The A/Jiangxi-Donghu/346-1/2013(H10N8) virus was used. Sera which have an HI assay ≥1:20 were further tested with the MN assay. Questionnaire data were examined for risk factor associations with positive serological assays. Risk factor analyses failed to identify specific factors associated with probable H10N8 infections. RESULTS: Among the 827 sera, only 21 animal workers had an HI titer ≥1:20 (18 had an HI titer of 1:20 and 3 had an HI titer of 1:40). None of these 21 subjects reported experiencing any influenza symptoms during the three months before enrollment. Among the three subjects with HI titers of 1:40, two had MN antibody titers of 1:40, and one had a MN antibody titer of 1:80 (probable H10N8 infections). CONCLUSIONS: Study data suggest that animal workers may have been infected with the H10N8 virus before the first recognized H10N8 human infection cases. It seems prudent to continue surveillance for H10N8 viruses among animal workers.
Qi, W; Su, S; Xiao, C; Zhou, P; Li, H; Ke, C; Gray, GC; Zhang, G; Liao, M
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)