Literature review of the epidemiology of influenza B disease in 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region

Lance Jennings, Qiu Sue Huang, Ian Barr, Ping Ing Lee, Woo Joo Kim, Philippe Buchy, Melvin Sanicas, Bruce A. Mungall, Jing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

25 Citations (Scopus)


Influenza control strategies focus on the use of trivalent influenza vaccines containing two influenza A virus subtypes and one of the two circulating influenza type B lineages (Yamagata or Victoria). Mismatches between the vaccine B lineage and the circulating lineage have been regularly documented in many countries, including those in the Asia-Pacific region. We conducted a literature review with the aim of understanding the relative circulation of influenza B viruses in Asia-Pacific countries. PubMed and Western Pacific Region Index Medicus were searched for relevant articles on influenza type B published since 1990 in English language for 15 Asia-Pacific countries. Gray literature was also accessed. From 4834 articles identified, 121 full-text articles were analyzed. Influenza was reported as an important cause of morbidity in the Asia-Pacific region, affecting all age groups. In all 15 countries, influenza B was identified and associated with between 0% and 92% of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases in any one season/year. Influenza type B appeared to cause more illness in children aged between 1 and 10 years than in other age groups. Epidemiological data for the two circulating influenza type B lineages remain limited in several countries in the Asia-Pacific, although the co-circulation of both lineages was seen in countries where strain surveillance data were available. Mismatches between circulating B lineages and vaccine strains were observed in all countries with available data. The data suggest that a shift from trivalent to quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccines could provide additional benefits by providing broader protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-411
Number of pages29
JournalInfluenza and other Respiratory Viruses
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 1


  • Asia-Pacific
  • epidemiology
  • influenza B
  • literature review
  • seasonality
  • vaccine mismatch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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  • Cite this

    Jennings, L., Huang, Q. S., Barr, I., Lee, P. I., Kim, W. J., Buchy, P., Sanicas, M., Mungall, B. A., & Chen, J. (2018). Literature review of the epidemiology of influenza B disease in 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses, 12(3), 383-411.