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All Recent 2012 H3N2 Sequences In England Have T128A
Recombinomics Commentary 15:30
January 30, 2013

Mill Hill has released a series of H3N2 sequences from December 2012 and January 2013 collections from various countries in Europe, which included four December isolates (A/England/676/2012, A/England/670/2012, A/England/668/2012, A/England/625/2012). 

All four sequences were closely related to A/Iowa/14/2012, which has T128A and has been designated as a LOW REACTOR by the CDC.  The four isolates from England also had T128A, which is also true for four earlier sequences from October and November (A/England/575/2012, A/England/586/2012, A/England/587/2012, A/England/593/2012). 

Similarly, the first two sequences from England (released by the Health Protection Agencies) were from October collections, and both (A/ENG/570/2012 and A/ENG/574/2012) also had T128A and were closely related to A/Iowa.14/2012 as well as other isolates from Europe.

Thus, all 10 sequences from England have T128A strongly suggesting that the efficacy of the current vaccine will be limited in England.  Moreover, the same subclade is being detected at increasing frequencies in the United States other nearby countries, including Denmark, Germany, and France, including 2013 isolates.

The increase in the frequency for this sub-clade has also been seen in the United States, suggesting the 55% vaccine effectiveness number, which was based on early influenza A infections, will decline.

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