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J Infect Dis. 2001 Feb 15;183(4):523-31. Epub 2001 Jan 11.

Selection of influenza virus mutants in experimentally infected volunteers treated with oseltamivir.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Epidemiology and Virology, University of Virginia, PO Box 473, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Volunteers experimentally infected with influenza A/Texas/36/91 (H1N1) virus and treated with the neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor oseltamivir were monitored for the emergence of drug-resistant variants. Two (4%) of 54 resistant viruses were detected by NA inhibition assay among last-day isolates recovered from 54 drug recipients. They bore a substitution His274Tyr in the NA. Hemagglutinin (HA) variants detected in the placebo group differed from the egg-adapted inoculum virus by virtue of amino acid substitutions at residues 137, 225, or both. These variants had a higher affinity for Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal-containing receptors, which are characteristic of human respiratory epithelium, than for Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal-containing receptors, which are typical of chicken egg allantoic membrane. Although appearing to be more sensitive to oseltamivir in humans, the variants with increased affinity for Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal receptors were less sensitive than the Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal-binding variants in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Thus, HA affinity for receptors is an essential feature of influenza virus susceptibility to NA inhibitors, both in cell culture and in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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