Background: Human influenza represents a major public health concern, especially in south-east Asia where the risk of emergence and spread of novel influenza viruses is particularly high. The BaliMEI study aims to conduct a five year active surveillance and characterisation of influenza viruses in Bali using an extensive network of participating healthcare facilities. Methods: Samples were collected during routine diagnostic treatment in healthcare facilities. In addition to standard clinical and molecular methods for influenza typing, next generation sequencing and subsequent de novo genome assembly were performed to investigate the phylogeny of the collected patient samples. Results: The samples collected are characteristic of the seasonally circulating influenza viruses with indications of phylogenetic links to other samples characterised in neighbouring countries during the same time period. Conclusions: There were some strong phylogenetic links with sequences from samples collected in geographically proximal regions, with some of the samples from the same time-period resulting to small clusters at the tree-end points. However this work, which is the first of its kind completely performed within Indonesia, supports the view that the circulating seasonal influenza in Bali reflects the strains circulating in geographically neighbouring areas as would be expected to occur within a busy regional transit centre.
- Next generation sequencing