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As elsewhere, few (< 15%) sentinel influenza A(H3N2) clade 3C.2a viruses that dominated in Canada during the 2014/15 season could be antigenically characterised by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. Clade 3C.2a viruses that could be HI-characterised had acquired genetic mutations during in vitro cell culture isolation that modified the potential glycosylation motif found in original patient specimens and the consensus sequence of circulating viruses at amino acid positions 158–160 of the haemagglutinin protein. Caution is warranted in extrapolating antigenic relatedness based on limited HI findings for clade 3C.2a viruses that continue to circulate globally.


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