Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated Nanopore sequencing for influenza surveillance. METHODS: Influenza A and B PCR-positive samples from hospital patients in Oxfordshire, UK, and a UK-wide population survey from winter 2022-23 underwent Nanopore sequencing following targeted rt-PCR amplification. RESULTS: From 941 infections, successful sequencing was achieved in 292/388(75%) available Oxfordshire samples: 231(79%) A/H3N2, 53(18%) A/H1N1, and 8(3%) B/Victoria and in 53/113(47%) UK-wide samples. Sequencing was more successful at lower Ct values. Most same-sample replicate sequences had identical haemagglutinin segments (124/141;88%); 36/39(92%) Illumina vs. Nanopore comparisons were identical, and 3(8%) differed by 1 variant. Comparison of Oxfordshire and UK-wide sequences showed frequent inter-regional transmission. Infections were closely-related to 2022-23 vaccine strains. Only one sample had a neuraminidase inhibitor resistance mutation. 849/941(90%) Oxfordshire infections were community-acquired. 63/88(72%) potentially healthcare-associated cases shared a hospital ward with ≥1 known infectious case. 33 epidemiologically-plausible transmission links had sequencing data for both source and recipient: 8 were within ≤5 SNPs, of these, 5(63%) involved potential sources that were also hospital-acquired. CONCLUSIONS: Nanopore influenza sequencing was reproducible and antiviral resistance rare. Inter-regional transmission was common; most infections were genomically similar. Hospital-acquired infections are likely an important source of nosocomial transmission and should be prioritised for infection prevention and control.

Original publication




Journal article


J Infect

Publication Date



epidemiology, influenza, respiratory virus, sequencing