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H1N1 Vaccine Failure Raises Pandemic Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary 22:17
October 21, 2010

The changes are not significant yet, they said. But there have been some cases of people who were vaccinated also becoming infected, and also some deaths.

"Already this variant virus has been associated with several vaccine breakthroughs in teenagers and adults vaccinated in 2010 with monovalent pandemic influenza vaccine (protecting against only H1N1) as well as a number of fatal cases from whom the variant virus was isolated," they wrote.

The above comments describe an emerging H1N1 strain in Asia and Australia, which has D95N and N126D (H3 numbering).  However, this strain was noted in August, in part because of the presence of D225G and D225N.  These markers are frequently identified in autopsy lung samples and may be significantly under-represented in samples collected from the upper respiratory tract.
As seen in the list of sequences with D95N (see list here) and N126D (see list here), it is widespread in Australia and New Zealand, but was seen earlier in Singapore and mainland China.  Recently released sequences at GISAID demonstrate the continuing spread of this strain to the northern hemisphere (see list here).  This emerging strain has a number of characteristic changes (listed here).
The number of sequences from the northern hemisphere has been very limited, but spread beyond the southern hemisphere is likely.  Moreover, the vaccine breakthroughs in teenagers are of significant concern, since the current pandemic H1N1 target is identical to last year’s monovalent pandemic vaccine.

The failure to identify a new vaccine target for 2010/2011 once again demonstrates a failure to predict or act upon the inevitable drift, and this failure remains hazardous to the world’s health.

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