Serological survey of avian H5N2-subtype influenza virus infections in human populations
To investigate the distribution of antibodies against H5N2 influenza virus in humans living in Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, 266 single serum samples were collected to perform serological tests. Results were compared to investigate the relationship between positive results and several factors. The number of positive serum neutralization antibody titers (≥40) against avian influenza virus A/H5N2 was significantly greater (P < 0.05) among poultry workers, in comparison to a Japanese healthy population. The geometric mean titers of serum neutralization antibody against A/H5N2 were significantly higher (P < 0.05) among Ibaraki inhabitants and poultry workers (P < 0.0001) when compared to a Japanese healthy population. Seropositivity against A/H5N2 virus was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with age (≥50 years old) in poultry workers. These results suggest that seropositivity against H5N2 virus in Ibaraki specimens is significantly higher than those of a Japanese healthy population and that the surveillance of avian influenza viruses is very important to evaluate the invasion or emergence of new pandemic influenza viruses from species other than humans.