In the treatment of influenza, Neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) (Oseltamivir and Zanamivir) play a major role. The emergence of variants of influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus resistant to Oseltamivir is a matter of great concern as it limits its usage. Therefore, vigilant monitoring for Oseltamivir-resistant viruses has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Our study aimed to screen the influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus for NAI drug resistance during the outbreak of 2015-16 in North-Western India. A total of 640 H1N1pdm09 virus-positive samples were screened for drug resistance to Oseltamivir by WHO allelic discrimination real-time RT-PCR protocol. The allelic discrimination PCR protocol can detect the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the H275Y mutation is detected by this method which causes resistance to Oseltamivir. Sanger sequencing of partial fragment of NA gene (fragment IV), of 90 samples were performed to confirm the presence of NA-H275Y mutation. Neuraminidase susceptibility of 20 randomly selected isolates to Oseltamivir was tested using NA inhibition chemiluminiscence based assay. Among 640 H1N1pdm09 positive samples tested, H275Y mutation was detected in one sample (0.15%) by PCR and confirmed by Sanger sequencing also. All the 20 isolates tested for NAI susceptibility by NA star assay were found to be sensitive to Oseltamivir. WHO allelic discrimination PCR is an easy, rapid and sensitive method for high-throughput detection of resistance to Oseltamivir. Systematic regular drug resistance surveillance of Influenza A is essential to monitor the emergence and spread of drug-resistant strains.
Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus, (NAIs) Neuraminidase inhibitors, Oseltamivir, real-time polymerase chain reaction
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