Genetic variations of the Hemagglutinin gene of Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) viruses in Assam, India during 2016
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Since its emergence in 2009, Influenza A/H1N1pdm09 virus has evolved continuously. Marked genetic variations have occurred in the HA1 domain of the hemagglutinin gene causing the emergence of new variants. The present study genetically characterized the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of Influenza A/H1N1pdm09 strains from Assam circulating in 2016 that caused a mild outbreak without any reported mortality. Sequence analysis of the HA gene of 20 positive Assam/H1N1pdm09 strains revealed 3 mutations (K180Q, S202T, S220T) at the antigenic sites along with several other reported mutations which are in close proximity to the antigenic sites and therefore might affect the viral antigenicity. Phylogenetically, the Assam/H1N1pdm09 strains clustered into genogroup 6B. These genetic variations highlight the importance of continuous surveillance and characterization of Influenza A/H1N1pdm09 virus activity to track the genetic makeup and diversification that may affect the behavior of the virus.
KeywordsInfluenza A virus Swine flu H1N1 Hemagglutinin Genetic variation Assam
This work was supported by the Regional Viral Research Diagnostic Laboratory, Dibrugarh, Assam, a scheme under Department of Health Research, Government of India.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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