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Antiviral Res . Detection of influenza A(H3N2) viruses with polymerase acidic subunit substitutions after and prior to baloxavir marboxil treatment during the 2022-2023 influenza season in Japan

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  • Antiviral Res . Detection of influenza A(H3N2) viruses with polymerase acidic subunit substitutions after and prior to baloxavir marboxil treatment during the 2022-2023 influenza season in Japan

    Antiviral Res


    . 2024 Jul 3:105956.
    doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2024.105956. Online ahead of print. Detection of influenza A(H3N2) viruses with polymerase acidic subunit substitutions after and prior to baloxavir marboxil treatment during the 2022-2023 influenza season in Japan

    Irina Chon 1 , Keita Wagatsuma 2 , Reiko Saito 2 , Julian W Tang 3 , Sato Isamu 4 , Eitaro Suzuki 5 , Yutaka Shirahige 6 , Takashi Kawashima 7 , Michiyoshi Minato 8 , Naoki Kodo 9 , Hironori Masaki 10 , Hirotsune Hamabata 11 , Sayaka Yoshioka 2 , Yusuke Ichikawa 2 , Yuyang Sun 2 , Jiaming Li 2 , Teruhime Otoguto 2 , Hisami Watanabe 2



    AffiliationsFree article Abstract

    Baloxavir marboxil (baloxavir), approved as an anti-influenza drug in Japan in March 2018, can induce reduced therapeutic effectiveness due to PA protein substitutions. We assessed PA substitutions in clinical samples from influenza-infected children and adults pre- and post-baloxavir treatment, examining their impact on fever and symptom duration. During the 2022-2023 influenza season, the predominant circulating influenza subtype detected by cycling-probe RT-PCR was A(H3N2) (n=234), with a minor circulation of A(H1N1)pdm09 (n=10). Of the 234 influenza A(H3N2) viruses collected prior to baloxavir treatment, 2 (0.8%) viruses carry PA/I38T substitution. One virus was collected from a toddler and one from an adult, indicating the presence of viruses with reduced susceptibility to baloxavir, without prior exposure to the drug. Of the 54 paired influenza A(H3N2) viruses collected following baloxavir treatment, 8 (14.8%) viruses carried E23K/G, or I38M/T substitutions in PA. Variant calling through next-generation sequencing (NGS) showed varying proportions (6 to 100 %), a polymorphism and a mixture of PA/E23K/G, and I38M/T substitutions in the clinical samples. These eight viruses were obtained from children aged 7-14 years, with a median fever duration of 16.7 hours and a median symptom duration of 93.7 hours, which were similar to those of the wild type. However, the delayed viral clearance associated with the emergence of PA substitutions was observed. No substitutions conferring resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors were detected in 37 paired samples collected before and following oseltamivir treatment. These findings underscore the need for ongoing antiviral surveillance, informing public health strategies and clinical antiviral recommendations for seasonal influenza.

    Keywords: PA variant; PA/E23G/K; PA/I38/M/T; baloxavir marboxil; clinical course; fever; influenza A(H3N2) virus.

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