An interesting paper furthering the expansion of infectious disease serological applications using ONCYTE porous nitrocellulose film slides was described by researchers out of the Netherlands for classifying influenza infections and susceptibility to future infections. Microarrays printed on ONCYTE AVID film slides used purified recombinant influenza virus hemagglutinin antigens (HA1) from various subtypes (H1, H2, H3, H5, H7) derived from various epidemics dating as far back as 1918 and 1933.These varied in similarity to the A/2009 H1N1 virus responsible for the pandemic of 2009. Work presented by te Beest, et al. used these microarrays to help discriminate prior Influenza infections from the A/2009 H1N1 virus and to develop models for classification of the viruses (2). They observed that using models based on more than one type of closely related hemagglutinin antigen increased the predictive power of the assay to classify the viruses. The results indicated that using the multiplex capability of microarray assays may result in improvements in classification of a person as susceptible, immune, or infected when using more than 2 hemagglutinin antigens from closely related viruses. More recently, De Bruin, et al. monitored neonatal screening bloodspots from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic to track the evolution of the pandemic across 5 continents (1). By utilizing neonatal screening bloodspots collected in 13 countries using the HA1 recombinant protein arrays they were able to delineate the progression of the pandemic over the course of the year. Interestingly, although it was believed that the virus may have originated in Mexico, the data indicated that Mexico had relatively low circulation early in the pandemic. Rather, high seroprevalence was noted in Argentina prior to the widespread viral dissemination via more populated hubs such as the US, UK, and the EU indicating that the pandemic originated there.
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(1) de Bruin, E., et al. “Evolution of an influenza pandemic in 13 countries from 5 continents monitored by protein microarray from neonatal screening bloodspots.” Journal of Clinical Virology 61.1 (2014): 74-80.