Abstract: Analyzing the evolutionary pattern of the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 strain in different regions is important for understanding its diversification. We therefore conducted this study to elucidate the genetic variability and molecular evolution of the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 strains that circulated during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 influenza seasons in Sendai, Japan. Nasopharyngeal swab specimens were collected from patients with influenza-like illnesses who visited outpatient clinics in Sendai City, Japan, from September 2009 to April 2011. A total of 75 isolates were selected from September 2009 to April 2011 to analyze the genetic changes in the entire hemagglutinin 1 (HA1) segment of the HA gene and the neuraminidase (NA) gene based on sequence analysis. Bayesian coalescent Markov chain Monte Carlo analyses of HA1 and NA gene sequences were performed for further analysis. High sequence identities were observed for HA1 and NA in influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, displaying 99.06 and 99.33 % nucleotide identities, respectively, with the A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine strain A/California/07/2009. The substitution rates of nucleotides for HA1 in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 were 1.5 × 10-3 and 1.6 × 10 -3 substitutions per site per year, respectively. Phylogenetic tree analysis demonstrated that Sendai isolates were clustered into global clade 7, which is characterized by an S203T mutation in the HA1 gene. Moreover, two distinct circulation clusters were present in the 2010-2011 season. Mutations were present in antigenic or receptor-binding domains of the HA1 segment, including A141V, S143G, S183P, S185T, and S203T. The Bayesian skyline plot model illustrated a steady rate for the maintenance of genetic diversity, followed by a slight increase in the later part of the 2010-2011 season. Selection analysis revealed that the HA1 (position 197) and NA (position 46) sites were under positive selection; however, no known mutation conferring resistance to NA inhibitors such as H275Y was observed. The effect on control of the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, including vaccine strain selection, requires continuous monitoring of the strain by genetic surveillance.
- Antiviral drug susceptibility
- Positive selection