The emergence of pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 influenza showed the importance of rapid assessment of the degree of immunity in the population, the rate of asymptomatic infection, the spread of infection in households, effects of control measures, and ability of candidate vaccines to produce a response in different age groups. A limitation lies in the available assay repertoire: reference standard methods for measuring antibodies to influenza virus are haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays and virus neutralization tests. Both assays are difficult to standardize and may be too specific to assess possible partial humoral immunity from previous exposures. Here, we describe the use of antigen-microarrays to measure antibodies to HA1 antigens from seven recent and historical seasonal H1, H2 and H3 influenza viruses, the A(H1N1) 2009 pandemic influenza virus, and three avian influenza viruses. We assessed antibody profiles in 18 adult patients infected with A(H1N1) 2009 influenza virus during the recent pandemic, and 21 children sampled before and after the pandemic, against background reactivity observed in 122 persons sampled in 2008, a season dominated by seasonal A(H1N1) influenza virus. We show that subtype-specific and variant-specific antibody responses can be measured, confirming serological responses measured by HI. Comparison of profiles from persons with similar HI response showed that the magnitude and broadness of response to individual influenza subtype antigens differs greatly between individuals. Clinical and vaccination studies, but also exposure studies, should take these findings into consideration, as they may indicate some level of humoral immunity not measured by HI assays. ©2011 The Authors Clinical Microbiology and Infection

Antigen microarray, Homologous and heterologous antibodies, Influenza A HA1, Influenza serology, Profiling humoral immune response,
Clinical Microbiology and Infection
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Koopmans, M.P.G, D.V.M., de Bruin, E, Godeke, G-J, Friesema, I, van Gageldonk-Lafeber, A.B, Schipper, M, … Reimerink, J.H.J. (2012). Profiling of humoral immune responses to influenza viruses by using protein microarray. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 18(8), 797–807. doi:10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03701.x