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Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0375-0760On-line version ISSN 1561-3054


ACOSTA HERRERA, Belsy et al. Contribution of the National Influenza Laboratory to confront the 2009 pandemic influenza in Cuba. Rev Cubana Med Trop [online]. 2011, vol.63, n.1, pp.7-14. ISSN 0375-0760.

INTRODUCTION: acute respiratory infections are considered the most important causes of morbidity and mortality around the world. These infections became more significant when associated to epidemics and pandemic events caused by influenza virus. The need for global surveillance of influenza viruses was recognized as early as 1947 and led to the establishment of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN). The Cuban National Influenza Centre (NIC) belongs to this network since 1975. On April 2009, the recognition of a new influenza A (H1N1) of swine origin circulating in humans was identified as the causative agent of the first pandemic in the 21st century declared by the WHO. OBJECTIVE: to carry out surveillance of the new pandemic virus nationwide. METHODS: the Cuban National Influenza Center developed a diagnostic diagram to confirm infection with the pandemic virus in suspected cases. Different PCR assays for typing and subtyping of influenza A virus were used. RESULTS: from April to December 2009, 6 900 clinical respiratory samples were processed by using this diagram, 980 cases were confirmed and notified to the national health authorities and to the Pan American Health Organization. Human rhinoviruses were other important etiologic agents of the frequently detected acute respiratory infections. CONCLUSION: with the national strategy for surveillance at lab, it was possible to effectively monitor the circulation of the influenza viruses and of other respiratory viruses in our country and to alert the national health authorities, with a view to facing up to the pandemic influenza (2009)

Keywords : pandemic influenza; molecular diagnosis; laboratory surveillance.

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