Impact of neuraminidase mutations conferring influenza resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors in the N1 and N2 genetic backgrounds

Antivir Ther. 2006;11(8):971-6.


Subtype-specific neuraminidase (NA) mutations conferring resistance to NA inhibitors (NAIs) have been reported during in vitro passages and in clinic. In this study, we evaluated the impact of various NA mutations (E119A/G/V, H274Y, R292K and N294S) on the susceptibility profiles to different NAIs (oseltamivir, zanamivir and peramivir) using recombinant NA proteins of influenza A/WSN/33 (H1N1) and A/Sydney/5/97-like (H3N2) viruses. In the Nl subtype, the E119V mutation conferred cross-resistance to oseltamivir, zanamivir and peramivir [1,727-2,144 and 5,050-fold increase in IC50 values compared with wild-type (WT)] whereas only oseltamivir-resistance (1,028-fold increase in IC50) was conferred by the same mutation in the N2 subtype. The N294S mutation conferred resistance to oseltamivir in both the NI and N2 subtypes (197- and 1,879-fold increase in IC50 values, respectively) whereas the H274Y mutation conferred resistance to oseltamivir (754-fold increase) and peramivir (260-fold increase) in the N1 subtype only. The virulence of reverse genetics-rescued A/WSN/33 viruses harbouring H274Y and N294S NA mutations was investigated in Balb/c mice. The WT and H274Y recombinants had identical LD50 values (103 PFUs) and generated similar viral lung titres, whereas a higher LD50 (10 PFUs) and a 1-log decrease in viral lung titres were obtained with the N294S mutant. This study shows that some NA mutations at framework residues may confer resistance to one or three NAIs depending on the viral subtype. It suggests that certain drug-resistant NA mutants may still be virulent although additional studies using clinical isolates are needed to confirm our results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclopentanes / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Viral*
  • Guanidines / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / drug effects
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / enzymology
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / genetics*
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / drug effects
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / enzymology
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Neuraminidase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Neuraminidase / genetics*
  • Neuraminidase / metabolism
  • Oseltamivir / pharmacology
  • Viral Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Zanamivir / pharmacology


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cyclopentanes
  • Guanidines
  • Viral Proteins
  • Oseltamivir
  • Neuraminidase
  • Zanamivir
  • peramivir