Influenza surveillance was carried out in a subset of patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) presenting at an Employee Health Clinic (EHS) at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi (urban) and pediatric out patients department of civil hospital at Ballabhgarh (peri-urban), under the Comprehensive Rural Health Services Project (CRHSP) of AIIMS, in Delhi region from January 2007 to December 2010. Of the 3264 samples tested, 541 (17%) were positive for influenza viruses, of which 221 (41%) were pandemic Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, 168 (31%) were seasonal influenza A, and 152 (28%) were influenza B. While the Influenza viruses were detected year-round, their types/subtypes varied remarkably. While there was an equal distribution of seasonal A(H1N1) and influenza B in 2007, predominance of influenza B was observed in 2008. At the beginning of 2009, circulation of influenza A(H3N2) viruses was observed, followed later by emergence of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 with co-circulation of influenza B viruses. Influenza B was dominant subtype in early 2010, with second wave of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 in August-September, 2010. With the exception of pandemic H1N1 emergence in 2009, the peaks of influenza activity coincided primarily with monsoon season, followed by minor peak in winter at both urban and rural sites. Age group analysis of influenza positivity revealed that the percent positivity of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus was highest in >5–18 years age groups (OR 2.5; CI = 1.2–5.0; p = 0.009) when compared to seasonal influenza. Phylogenetic analysis of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 from urban and rural sites did not reveal any major divergence from other Indian strains or viruses circulating worldwide. Continued surveillance globally will help define regional differences in influenza seasonality, as well as, to determine optimal periods to implement influenza vaccination programs among priority populations.
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