Molecular Surveillance of Adamantane Resistance among Human Influenza A Viruses Isolated in Four Epidemic Seasons in Kenya

Meshack Wadegu, Fred Wamunyokoli, George Osanjo, Silvanos Opanda, Janet Majanja, Rodney Coldren, Wallace Bulimo


Background: Adamantanes impede influenza A virus replication and are important in the treatment and prophylaxis of disease caused by these viruses. Genotypic characterization of influenza A viruses for mutations associated with resistance to adamantanes has not been fully investigated in Kenya.

Objective: To characterize susceptibility of influenza A virus subtypes that circulated in Kenya from 2008-2011 to adamantanes.

Methods: Archived influenza A virus strains obtained from 2008 to 2011 were propagated in MDCK cells prior to sequencing of the matrix and hemagglutinin gene segments, followed by bioinformatics analyses.

Results: Ninety two virus strains consisting of 21 A/H3N2, 18 A/H1N1 and 53 A/H1N1pdm09 were analyzed.  All A/H3N2 and A/H1N1pdm09 viruses displayed resistance to adamantanes due to the S31N/S31D amino acid substitution. All A/H1N1pdm09 virus strains belonged to the N-lineage characterized by S203T amino acid substitution in the HA1. All A/H1N1 viruses were sensitive to adamantane and were characterized by K140E amino acid substitution in the HA1.

Conclusion: All Kenyan influenza A/H3N2 and A/H1N1pdm09 virus strains were resistant to adamantanes while seasonal A/H1N1 strains were sensitive to these drugs. During the study period, Amantadine and Rimantadine were inappropriate for prophylaxis and treatment of influenza disease caused by A/H3N2 and A/H1N1pdm09 virus subtypes in Kenya.

Key words: Kenya, influenza A/H3N2, A/H1N1pdm09, A/H1N1, adamantanes


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