NYMC Faculty Publications


Forty Five Percent of the Israeli Population were Infected with the Influenza B Victoria virus During the Winter season 2015-16

Document Type


Publication Date

December 2017


Family and Community Medicine


While infection with influenza A viruses has been extensively investigated, infections with influenza B viruses which are commonly categorized into the highly homologous Victoria and Yamagata lineages, are less studied, despite their considerable virulence. Here we used RT-PCR assays, hemagglutination inhibition assays and antibody titers to determine the levels of influenza B infection. We report of high influenza B Victoria virus prevalence in the 2015-16 winter season in Israel, affecting approximately half of the Israeli population. We further show that the Victoria B virus infected individuals of all ages and that it was present in the country throughout the entire winter season. The vaccine however included the inappropriate Yamagata virus. We propose that a quadrivalent vaccine, that includes both Yamagata and Victoria lineages, should be considered for future influenza vaccination.