Molecular characterization of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses circulating at various geographical locations in India, 2017
Varsha Potdar1, Neetu Vijay2, Nivedita Gupta3, G Arunkumar4, Bishwajyoti Borkakoty5, Bharti Malhotra6, Debajit Rabha7, Dilip Hinge1, Harmanmeet Kaur2, Mandeep Chadha1, for VRDL Team8
1 Influenza Group, ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune, India
2 Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, India
3 Division of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, Headquarters, New Delhi, India
4 Manipal Institute of Virology, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Deemed to be University), Manipal, India
5 ICMR-Regional Medical Research Center, Dibrugarh, India
6 Department of Microbiology, Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur, India
7 Department of Microbiology, Guwahati Medical College, Guwahati, India
Dr Mandeep Chadha
ICMR-National Institute of Virology, 20A Dr Ambedkar Road, Pune 411 001, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background & objectives: Influenza virological surveillance is an essential tool for the early detection of novel genetic variants of epidemiologic and clinical significance. This study was aimed to genetically characterize A(H1N1)pdm09 virus circulating in 2017 and to compare it with the global data.
Methods: The regional/State Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) provided influenza diagnosis for referred clinical samples and shared influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 positives with the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV), Pune, India, for hemagglutinin (HA) gene phylogenetic analysis. Sites at Manipal, Jaipur and Dibrugarh performed the sequencing and shared the sequence data for analysis. The antiviral susceptibility of influenza viruses was assessed for known molecular marker H275Y at the ICMR-NIV, Pune.
Results: All the eight VRDLs had well-established influenza diagnostic facilities and showed increased activity of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 during 2017. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the viruses from the different regions of the country were similar to A/Michigan/45/2015 strain which was the 2017-2018 recommended vaccine strain and were clustered with the globally circulating clade 6B.1 with signature mutations S84N, S162N and I216T. The clade 6B.1 showed further subgrouping with additional mutations S74R, S164T and I295V; however, there was no significant association between the presence of these mutations and severity of disease due to influenza. All the study viruses were sensitive to oseltamivir.
Interpretation & conclusions: During the study period, all the study sites reported globally circulating A/Michigan/45/2015 vaccine strain of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses and remained sensitive to oseltamivir. Further genetic and antigenic characterization of influenza viruses is recommended to address public health concerns.