Research Article| Volume 84, ISSUE 2, P151-157, February 2022

Susceptibility of epidemic viruses to neuraminidase inhibitors and treatment-emergent resistance in the Japanese 2019-20 influenza season

Published:November 30, 2021DOI:


      • Neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) susceptibility was maintained and no increase of resistant virus was found.
      • Treatment-emergent resistance was found in A(H1N1)pdm09 treated with oseltamivir.
      • H275Y mutants rapidly replaced the wild type after oseltamivir treatment.



      To investigate the susceptibility of epidemic influenza viruses to neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) and the emergence of resistant viruses after treatment, a prospective, observational study was done in the 2019-20 Japanese influenza season.


      Influenza viruses were isolated before and twice after treatment, the first at day 5 and the second at day 10. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) to oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir, and laninamivir were measured and compared with those of 2010-11 to 2018-19 seasons. NA amino acid sequences were analyzed by next generation sequencing (NGS).


      The IC50 geometric means of the NAIs for 128 A(H1N1)pdm09, 2 A(H3N2), and 33 B were comparable to those of the previous seasons. Only 2 (1.6%) A(H1N1)pdm09 with significantly high IC50 to oseltamivir were found pretreatment. No A(H3N2) or B had resistance. Treatment-emergent oseltamivir resistance was found in 2 among 33 oseltamivir-treated A(H1N1)pdm09, only at the second follow-up. The NGS indicated a rapid increase in the proportion of H275Y to wild type, from 0% to almost 100% between days 5 and 10.


      These results suggest the continued effectiveness of these NAIs for epidemic influenza in Japan. Treatment-emergent resistant H275Y A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses were detected after oseltamivir treatment, rapidly replacing the wild type.


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