Molecular characterization of severe and mild cases of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 strain from Argentina

Baumeister, Elsa; Palacios, Gustavo F.; Cisterna, Daniel; Solovyov, Alexander V.; Hui, Jeffrey; Savji, Nazir; Bussetti, Ana; Campos, Ana; Pontoriero, Andrea; Jabado, Omar J.; Street, Craig; Hirschberg, David L.; Rabadan, Raul; Alonio, Virginia; Molina, Viviana; Hutchison, Stephen; Egholm, Michael; Lipkin, W. Ian

While worldwide pandemic influenza A(H1N1) pdm case fatality rate (CFR) was 0.4%, Argentina's was 4.5%. A total of 34 strains from mild and severe cases were analyzed. A full genome sequencing was carried out on 26 of these, and a partial sequencing on the remaining eight. We observed no evidence that the high CFR can be attributed to direct virus changes. No evidence of re-assortment, mutations associated with resistance to antiviral drugs, or genetic drift that might contribute to virulence was observed. Although the mutation D225G associated with severity in the latest reports from the Ukraine and Norway is not observed among the Argentine strains, an amino acid change in the area (S206T) surrounding the HA receptor binding domain was observed, the same previously established worldwide.

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Center for Infection and Immunity
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March 21, 2011