Changes in heterosubtypic antibody responses during the first year of the 2009 A(H1N1) influenza pandemic

Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 8:6:20385. doi: 10.1038/srep20385.


Seropositivity to avian influenza (AI) via low-level antibody titers has been reported in the general population and poultry-exposed individuals, raising the question whether these findings reflect true infection with AI or cross-reactivity. Here we investigated serological profiles against human and avian influenza viruses in the general population using a protein microarray platform. We hypothesized that higher antibody diversity across recent H1 and H3 influenza viruses would be associated with heterosubtypic reactivity to older pandemic- and AI viruses. We found significant heterogeneity in antibody profiles. Increased antibody diversity to seasonal influenza viruses was associated with low-level heterosubtypic antibodies to H9 and H7, but not to H5 AI virus. Individuals exposed to the recent 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic showed higher heterosubtypic reactivity. We show that there is a complex interplay between prior exposures to seasonal and recent pandemic influenza viruses and the development of heterosubtypic antibody reactivity to animal influenza viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Birds
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / classification
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza in Birds / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G