Impact of the H275Y and I223V nutations in the Neuraminidase of the 2009 pandemic influenza virus In vitro and evaluating experimental reproducibility

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Physics and Astronomy


The 2009 pandemic H1N1 (H1N1pdm09) influenza virus is naturally susceptible to neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors, but mutations in the NA protein can cause oseltamivir resistance. The H275Y and I223V amino acid substitutions in the NA of the H1N1pdm09 influenza strain have been separately observed in patients exhibiting oseltamivir-resistance. Here, we apply mathematical modelling techniques to compare the fitness of the wild-type H1N1pdm09 strain relative to each of these two mutants. We find that both the H275Y and I223V mutations in the H1N1pdm09 background significantly lengthen the duration of the eclipse phase (by 2.5 h and 3.6 h, respectively), consistent with these NA mutations delaying the release of viral progeny from newly infected cells. Cells infected by H1N1pdm09 virus carrying the I223V mutation display a disadvantageous, shorter infectious lifespan (17 h shorter) than those infected with the wild-type or MUT-H275Y strains. In terms of compensating traits, the H275Y mutation in the H1N1pdm09 background results in increased virus infectiousness, as we reported previously, whereas the I223V exhibits none, leaving it overall less fit than both its wild-type counterpart and the MUT-H275Y strain. Using computer simulated competition experiments, we determine that in the presence of oseltamivir at doses even below standard therapy, both the MUT-H275Y and MUT-I223V dominate their wild-type counterpart in all aspects, and the MUT-H275Y outcompetes the MUT-I223V. The H275Y mutation should therefore be more commonly observed than the I223V mutation in circulating H1N1pdm09 strains, assuming both mutations have a similar impact or no significant impact on between-host transmission. We also show that mathematical modelling offers a relatively inexpensive and reliable means to quantify inter-experimental variability and assess the reproducibility of results.

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