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Molecular and serological investigations of the Influenza A(H1N1) 2009 pandemic virus in Turkey

Molecular and serological investigations of the Influenza A(H1N1) 2009 pandemic virus in Turkey

Medical Microbiology and Immunology 202(4): 277-284

Intense research has been conducted on influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus to determine the virulence markers. Limited information on characteristics of pandemic virus has become available in Turkey since the pandemic. In this first report from Turkey, we investigated the molecular markers that have been associated with increased virulence and oseltamivir resistance. We also conducted serological studies in people after infection, vaccination, exposure, and no-exposure controls to determine the level of protection against the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. Thirteen rRT-PCR positive samples were analyzed for presence of mutations that have been associated with host range, virulence, and antiviral resistance: substitution D222G in the HA, E627K in the PB2, and H275Y in the neuraminidase (NA). In addition, 135 serum samples from vaccinated, recovered, asymptomatic contacts, and control individuals were tested using hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. D222G was detected in nasal samples from two severe cases. No specified mutations in the PB2 and NA were identified. Additional substitutions, I216V, V321I, E374K, S203T in HA, V655I in PB2, and I163V in NA, were detected. HI testing from vaccinated individuals, recovered patients, asymptomatic contacts, and control individuals showed that 97.9, 99.7, 88.2, and 44.2 % had HI titers ≥40, respectively. Molecular markers promoting influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 to become a pandemic virus are still under investigation. Serological results confirm that younger, un-exposed individuals are at increased risk of pandemic virus infections. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are still in circulation around the globe. Therefore, these viruses need to be monitored closely for development of new markers including antiviral resistance mutations.

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Accession: 036805613

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PMID: 23483248

DOI: 10.1007/s00430-013-0291-4

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