Seroprevalence of Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza A in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008–2010


Correspondence to: I-Ching Sam, Department of Medical Microbiology, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia.



Relatively little is known about the burden of influenza in tropical countries. The seroprevalence of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009, seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 was determined in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pre- and post-pandemic residual laboratory sera were tested by hemagglutination-inhibition. The seroprevalence of A(H1N1)pdm09 increased from 3.7% pre-pandemic to 21.9% post-pandemic, giving an overall cumulative incidence of 18.1% (95% CI, 13.8–22.5%), mainly due to increases in those <5, 5–17, and 18–29 years old. In contrast with findings from USA, Europe, and Australia, pre-existing seroprevalence to A(H1N1)pdm09 was low at 5.6% in the elderly age group of >55 years. A(H1N1)pdm09 affected almost a third of those <30 years in Kuala Lumpur. Pre-pandemic seroprevalence was 14.7% for seasonal H1N1 and 21.0% for H3N2, and these rates did not change significantly after the pandemic. Seasonal and pandemic influenza cause a considerable burden in tropical Malaysia, particularly in children and young adults. J. Med. Virol. 85:1420–1425, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.