nfect Genet Evol. 2018 Oct 30;67:60-66. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.10.023. [Epub ahead of print] Incidence of antiviral drug resistance markers among human influenza A viruses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 2005-2016.

Moasser E1, Moasser A2, Zaraket H3.
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Two classes of antiviral drugs are available for influenza antiviral therapy: the adamantanes and the neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs). Due to the emergence of adamantane-resistant variants, the use of these drugs has been largely limited in the world. The NAIs became the drugs of choice for treatment of influenza A infections. However, amino acid substitutions in the NA protein might lead to reduced sensitivity to NAIs.

The frequency and distribution of matrix protein 2 (M2) and neuraminidase (NA) variants which confer resistance to antiviral drugs was investigated in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) between 2005 and 2016. A total of 314 M2 and 1209 NA protein sequences from influenza A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, A/H3N2, and A/H5N1 available in the public database were analyzed.

Eighty-six percent of the influenza A viruses detected in the EMR were resistant to adamantanes, among which, H3 strains exhibited the highest (95.32%) level of adamantane resistance. Approximately 98.51% (265/269) of influenza A/H1N1 and H3N2 resistant viruses had the S31N substitution in their M2 sequences. The V27A mutation was the only resistance marker found in A/H5N1 viruses and was detected at a frequency of 7.40% among the investigated viruses. Other resistant mutations L26F, A30T, G34E, and L38F were not detected in any of the variants. We found that 2.81% (n = 34) of the detected NA sequences from influenza A viruses possessed at least one NAI-resistant mutation and the vast majority of resistant viruses 79.41% (27/34) bear the H274Y mutation. The frequency of NAI-resistant viruses was 3.29% (24/729) for the H1N1pdm09, 10.64% (5/47) for the seasonal H1N1, and 4.06% (5/123) for H5N1 viruses. None of the H3N2 viruses analyzed during the study period were resistant to NAIs.

Our study reveals the emergence and spread of antiviral drug resistant influenza A viruses in the EMR and emphasizes the importance of continuous surveillance to maintain the effective use of the current antivirals.
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Antiviral resistance; Eastern Mediterranean Region; Influenza A viruses

PMID: 30389548 DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.10.023