The overall effectiveness of the 2017 seasonal influenza vaccine in Southern Hemisphere was reduced due to low efficacy
measured against influenza A(H3N2) – the predominant subtype. Recently, informational analysis showed that viruses circulating
in Australia and US in 2017 are different (https://f1000research.com/articles/6-2067/v1)
suggesting that we might have very different vaccine efficacy in these two countries during this flu season.
The vaccine efficacy is also changing during the flu season due to genetic mutations/virus evolution. The UTMB/BioPro
bioinformatics tool gives possibility for continuing, real-time assessment of the vaccine efficacy for A(H3N2) strains using
HA sequences that become available for analysis during the flu season. This assessment is based on the novel ISM-based
(Informational Spectrum Method) phylogenetic analysis, which allows us to study the virus evolution based on biological/functional
changes in the HA instead of focusing on structural properties of proteins (for details visit Biomed Protection).
Vaccine sensitive viruses in the ISM-phylogenetic tree are clustered together with the vaccine virus (VRES). Viruses outside
of this cluster are predicted to be more resistant to the current vaccine (VNONRES). Ratio between these two groups of viruses
(VRES/VNONRES) correlates with the vaccine efficacy. It is postulated, based on the historical data for the vaccine efficacy
against A(H3N2) viruses, that the ratio VRES/VNONRES > 1 corresponds to effectiveness of 35% or higher.
Viruses collected in US between July and September which represent precursors for the flu season 2017/2018. (VRES/VNONRES = 2.39)
H3N2 October 2017 (VRES/VNONRES = 3.49)
H3N2 November 2017 (VRES/VNONRES = 5.82)
H3N2 December 2017 (VRES/VNONRES = 5.80)
Generate ISM-based phylogenetic tree
You can see the valid input format in the next example. Click on the button and example data will fill the box in the form above.