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Abstract zur Publikation: A new and rapid genotypic assay for the detection of neuraminidase inhibitor resistant influenza A viruses of subtype H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1

Duwe S, Schweiger B (2008): A new and rapid genotypic assay for the detection of neuraminidase inhibitor resistant influenza A viruses of subtype H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1.
J. Virol. Methods 153 (2): 134-141.

The neuraminidase of influenza viruses is the target of the inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir. Recent reports on influenza viruses with reduced susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors (NAI) are a cause for concern. Several amino acid substitutions, each as a consequence of one single nucleotide mutation, are known to confer resistance to NAI. An increase of NAI-resistant viruses appears to be likely as a result of a wider application of NAI for treatment and prophylaxis of seasonal influenza infections. Monitoring the occurrence and spread of resistant viruses is an important task. Therefore, RT-PCR assays were developed with subsequent pyrosequencing analysis (PSQ-PCR). These assays allow a rapid, high-throughput and cost-effective screening of subtype A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and A/H5N1 viruses. Various specimens such as respiratory swabs, allantoic fluid, or cell-propagated viruses can be used and results are available within hours. Several A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and A/H5N1 viruses isolated from human and avian specimens were tested to evaluate the method. Positive controls encoding resistance-associated mutations were created using site-directed mutagenesis. The results obtained with these controls showed that the assay can discriminate clearly the wild-type virus from a mutant virus. The detection limit of minor virus variants within the viral quasispecies amounts to 10%.

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