Neuraminidase inhibitor-resistant recombinant A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1) influenza viruses retain their replication efficiency and pathogenicity in vitro and in vivo.
ABSTRACT Effective antiviral drugs are essential for early control of an influenza pandemic. It is therefore crucial to evaluate the possible threat posed by neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor-resistant influenza viruses with pandemic potential. Four NA mutations (E119G, H274Y, R292K, and N294S) that have been reported to confer resistance to NA inhibitors were each introduced into recombinant A/Vietnam/1203/04 (VN1203) H5N1 influenza virus. For comparison, the same mutations were introduced into recombinant A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) H1N1 influenza virus. The E119G and R292K mutations significantly compromised viral growth in vitro, but the H274Y and N294S mutations were stably maintained in VN1203 and PR8 viruses. In both backgrounds, the H274Y and N294S mutations conferred resistance to oseltamivir carboxylate (50% inhibitory concentration [IC(50)] increases, >250-fold and >20-fold, respectively), and the N294S mutation reduced susceptibility to zanamivir (IC(50) increase, >3.0-fold). Although the H274Y and N294S mutations did not compromise the replication efficiency of VN1203 or PR8 viruses in vitro, these mutations slightly reduced the lethality of PR8 virus in mice. However, the VN1203 virus carrying either the H274Y or N294S mutation exhibited lethality similar to that of the wild-type VN1203 virus. The different enzyme kinetic parameters (V(max) and K(m)) of avian-like VN1203 NA and human-like PR8 NA suggest that resistance-associated NA mutations can cause different levels of functional loss in NA glycoproteins of the same subtype. Our results suggest that NA inhibitor-resistant H5N1 variants may retain the high pathogenicity of the wild-type virus in mammalian species. Patients receiving NA inhibitors for H5N1 influenza virus infection should be closely monitored for the emergence of resistant variants.
Article: Avian influenza (H5N1) viruses isolated from humans in Asia in 2004 exhibit increased virulence in mammals.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses across Asia in 2003 and 2004 devastated domestic poultry populations and resulted in the largest and most lethal H5N1 virus outbreak in humans to date. To better understand the potential of H5N1 viruses isolated during this epizootic event to cause disease in mammals, we used the mouse and ferret models to evaluate the relative virulence of selected 2003 and 2004 H5N1 viruses representing multiple genetic and geographical groups and compared them to earlier H5N1 strains isolated from humans. Four of five human isolates tested were highly lethal for both mice and ferrets and exhibited a substantially greater level of virulence in ferrets than other H5N1 viruses isolated from humans since 1997. One human isolate and all four avian isolates tested were found to be of low virulence in either animal. The highly virulent viruses replicated to high titers in the mouse and ferret respiratory tracts and spread to multiple organs, including the brain. Rapid disease progression and high lethality rates in ferrets distinguished the highly virulent 2004 H5N1 viruses from the 1997 H5N1 viruses. A pair of viruses isolated from the same patient differed by eight amino acids, including a Lys/Glu disparity at 627 of PB2, previously identified as an H5N1 virulence factor in mice. The virus possessing Glu at 627 of PB2 exhibited only a modest decrease in virulence in mice and was highly virulent in ferrets, indicating that for this virus pair, the K627E PB2 difference did not have a prevailing effect on virulence in mice or ferrets. Our results demonstrate the general equivalence of mouse and ferret models for assessment of the virulence of 2003 and 2004 H5N1 viruses. However, the apparent enhancement of virulence of these viruses in humans in 2004 was better reflected in the ferret.Journal of Virology 10/2005; 79(18):11788-800. · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The catalytic sites of influenza virus neuraminidase are located on the upper corners of the box-shaped tetramer that forms the head of the molecule. Antigenic determinants form a nearly-continuous surface across the top of the monomer encircling the catalytic site. Approximately the same number of amino acid sequence changes occurred in these determinants between the years 1968 and 1975 as occurred in the antigenic sites of influenza virus haemagglutinin in the same period.Nature 303(5912):41-4. · 36.28 Impact Factor