To gain insight into the age at which children become infected with influenza viruses for the first time, we analyzed the seroprevalence of antibodies against influenza viruses in children 0 to 7 years of age in the Netherlands. Serum samples were collected during a cross-sectional population-based study in 2006 and 2007 and were tested for the presence of antibodies against influenza A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B viruses representative of viruses present in previous influenza seasons using the hemagglutination inhibition assay. The seroprevalence of antibodies to influenza virus was higher in children 1 to 6 months of age than in children 7 to 12 months of age, which likely reflects the presence of maternally derived antibodies. The proportion of study subjects >1 year of age with detectable antibodies against influenza viruses gradually increased with age until they reached the age of 6 years, when they all had antibodies to at least one influenza A virus. These findings may have implications for the development of vaccination strategies aiming at the protection of young children against seasonal and/or pandemic influenza virus infection. Copyright,
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology (Print)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bodewes, R, de Mutsert, G, van der Klis, F.R, Ventresca, M, Wilks, S, Smith, D.J, … Rimmelzwaan, G.F. (2011). Prevalence of antibodies against seasonal influenza A and B viruses in children in Netherlands. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology (Print), 18(3), 469–476. doi:10.1128/CVI.00396-10