Journal Article

Characterization of recombinant influenza B viruses with key neuraminidase inhibitor resistance mutations

David Jackson, Wendy Barclay and Thomas Zürcher

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 2, pages 162-169
Published in print February 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online February 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Characterization of recombinant influenza B viruses with key neuraminidase inhibitor resistance mutations

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  • Medical Oncology
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Objectives and methods: An influenza B virus plasmid-based rescue system was used to introduce site-specific mutations, previously observed in neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor-resistant viruses, into the NA protein of six recombinant viruses. Three mutations observed only among in vitro selected zanamivir-resistant influenza A mutants were introduced into the B/Beijing/1/87 virus NA protein, to change residue E116 to glycine, alanine or aspartic acid. Residue E116 was also mutated to valine, a mutation found in the clinic among oseltamivir-resistant viruses. An arginine to lysine change at position 291 (292 N2 numbering) mimicked that seen frequently in influenza A N2 clinical isolates resistant to oseltamivir. Similarly, an arginine to lysine change at position 149 (152 in N2 numbering) was made to reproduce the change found in the only reported zanamivir-resistant clinical isolate of influenza B virus. In vitro selection and prolonged treatment in the clinic leads to resistance pathways that require compensatory mutations in the haemagglutinin gene, but these appear not to be important for mutants isolated from immunocompetent patients. The reverse genetics system was therefore used to generate mutants containing only the NA mutation.

Results and conclusions: With the exception of a virus containing the E116G mutation, mutant viruses were attenuated to different levels in comparison with wild-type virus. This attenuation was a result of altered NA activity or stability depending on the introduced mutation. Mutant viruses displayed increased resistance to zanamivir, oseltamivir and peramivir, with certain viruses displaying cross-resistance to all three drugs.

Keywords: reverse genetics; antivirals; zanamivir; oseltamivir; peramivir

Journal Article.  6338 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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