The neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir are the first-line of defense against potentially fatal variants of influenza A pandemic strains. However, if resistant virus strains start to arise easily or at a high frequency, a new antiinfluenza strategy will be necessary. This study aimed to investigate if and to what extent NA inhibitor-resistant mutants exist in the wild population of influenza A viruses that inhabit wild birds. NA sequences of all NA subtypes available from 5490 avian, 379 swine and 122 environmental isolates were extracted from NCBI databases. In addition, a dataset containing 230 virus isolates from mallard collected at Ottenby Bird Observatory (Ö land, Sweden) was analyzed. Isolated NA RNA fragments from Ottenby were transformed to cDNA by RT-PCR, which was followed by sequencing. The analysis of genotypic profiles for NAs from both data sets in regard to antiviral resistance mutations was performed using bioinformatics tools. All 6221 sequences were scanned for oseltamivir- (I117V, E119V, D198N, I222V, H274Y, R292K, N294S and I314V) and zanamivir-related mutations (V116A, R118K, E119G/A/D, Q136K, D151E, R152K, R224K, E276D, R292K and R371K). Of the sequences from the avian NCBI dataset, 132 (2.4%) carried at least one, or in two cases even two and three, NA inhibitor resistance mutations. Swine and environmental isolates from the same data set had 18 (4.75%) and one (0.82%) mutant, respectively, with at least one mutation. The Ottenby sequences carried at least one mutation in 15 cases (6.52%). Therefore, resistant strains were more frequently found in Ottenby samples than in NCBI data sets. However, it is still uncertain if these mutations are the result of natural variations in the viruses or if they are induced by the selective pressure of xenobiotics (e.g., oseltamivir, zanamivir). © 2011 Orozovic et al.
Orozovic, G., Orozovic, K., Lennerstrand, J., & Olsen, B. (2011). Detection of resistance mutations to antivirals oseltamivir and zanamivir in avian influenza a viruses isolated from wild birds. PLoS ONE, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0016028