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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2019 Jan-Mar;37(1):42-49. doi: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_18_416.

Genetic characterisation of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses circulating in Assam, Northeast India during 2009-2015.

Author information

Division of Virology, ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, N.E. Region, Dibrugarh, Assam, India.



Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, since its identification in April 2009, has continued to cause significant outbreaks of respiratory tract infections including pandemics in humans. In the course of its evolution, the virus has acquired many mutations with an ability to cause increased disease severity. A regular molecular surveillance of the virus is essential to mark the evolutionary changes that may cause a shift to the viral behavior.

Materials and Methods:

Samples of Throat/Nasal swabs were collected from a total of 3715 influenza-like illness cases and screened by Real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction for influenza viruses. Nucleotide sequence analysis was done to identify changes in antigenicity of the virus strains.


The present study describes the molecular characteristics of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses detected in Assam of Northeast India during 2009-2015. Influenza A viruses were detected in 11.4% (425/3715), of which influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses were detected in 41.4% (176/425). The nucleotide sequencing of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses revealed a total of 17 and 22 amino acid substitutions in haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of the virus, respectively, compared to contemporary vaccine strain A/California/07/2009. The important mutations detected in HA genes of A/Assam(H1N1)pdm09 strains included E391K, K180Q and S202T. Mutation 'N248D' which has an ability to develop oseltamivir resistance was also detected in NA gene of A/Assam(H1N1)pdm09 strains.


Regular molecular surveillance of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 is important to monitor the viral behavior in terms of increase virulence, drug resistance pattern and emergence of novel strains.


Haemagglutinin; Northeast India; influenza A(H1N1)pdm09; neuraminidase; pandemic

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