Amantadine is one of the antiviral agents used to treat influenza A virus infections, but resistant strains have widely emerged worldwide. In the present study, we developed a novel method to detect amantadine-resistant strains harboring the Ser31Asn mutation in the M2 gene based on the cycling probe method and real-time PCR. We also studied the rate of amantadine resistance in the 2007-2008 influenza season in Japan. Two different primer and cycling probe sets were designed for A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 each to detect a single nucleotide polymorphism corresponding to Ser/Asn at residue 31 of the M2 protein. By using nasopharyngeal swabs from patients with influenza-like and other respiratory illnesses and virus isolates, the specificity and the sensitivity of the cycling probe method were evaluated. High frequencies of amantadine resistance were detected among the A/H1N1 (411/663, 62%) and A/H3N2 (56/56, 100%) virus isolates collected from six prefectures in Japan in the 2007-2008 influenza season. We confirmed that the cycling probe method is suitable for the screening of both nasopharyngeal swabs and influenza virus isolates for amantadine-resistant strains and showed that the incidence of amantadine resistance among both A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 viruses remained high in Japan during the 2007-2008 season.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)