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J Virol. 1988 May;62(5):1508-12.

Genetic basis of resistance to rimantadine emerging during treatment of influenza virus infection.

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  • 1National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London, United Kingdom.


The emergence of influenza A viruses which had acquired resistance to rimantadine during a clinical trial (C. B. Hall, R. Dolin, C. L. Gala, D. M. Markovitz, Y. Q. Zhang, P. H. Madore, F. A. Disney, W. B. Talpey, J. L. Green, A. B. Francis, and M. E. Pichichero, Pediatrics 80:275-282, 1987) provided the opportunity to determine the genetic basis of this phenomenon. Analysis of reassortant viruses generated with a resistant clinical isolate (H3N2) and the susceptible influenza A/Singapore/57 (H2N2) virus indicated that RNA segment 7 coding for matrix and M2 proteins conferred the resistant phenotype. Resistant viruses isolated from seven patients each contained a single change in the nucleotide sequence coding for the M2 protein which resulted in substitutions in amino acid 30 (two viruses) or 31 (five viruses) in the transmembrane domain of the molecule. These changes occurred in locations identified in influenza viruses selected for resistance to amantadine in tissue culture and indicate a common mechanism of action of the two compounds in cell culture and during chemotherapeutic use.

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