A Cluster of Patients Infected With I221V Influenza B Virus Variants With Reduced Oseltamivir Susceptibility--North Carolina and South Carolina, 2010-2011

Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6). 12/2012; 207(6). DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jis776
Source: PubMed


During 2010-2011, influenza B viruses with a novel neuraminidase substitution, denoted I221V (B/I221V), associated with reduced in vitro oseltamivir susceptibility were detected in North Carolina.

We determined the prevalence of I221V among B viruses submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for antiviral resistance surveillance, including all B viruses submitted to North Carolina and South Carolina state laboratories, during October 2010-September 2011.We conducted chart reviews and telephone interviews to characterize North Carolina and South Carolina patients with B/I221V vs wild-type B virus infection (B/WT).

We detected I221V in 45 (22%) of 209 B viruses from North Carolina and 8 (10%) of 82 B viruses from South Carolina. We detected I221V in 3 (0.3%) of 881 B viruses tested from 45 other states. B/I221V infection was not associated with differences in underlying conditions or illness severity, compared with B/WT infection. No patients with B/I221V infection received oseltamivir prior to specimen collection. Among patients who completed oseltamivir, those with B/I221V infection reported a longer duration until illness resolution (5 vs 3 days; P = .02).

B/I221V cocirculated with B/WT in North Carolina and South Carolina during 2010-2011. I221V did not alter illness severity but may have reduced oseltamivir effectiveness. Thus, global surveillance for I221V is important.

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