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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)