Surveillance and molecular characterization of human influenza B viruses during 2006-2010 revealed co-circulation of Yamagata-like and Victoria-like strains in eastern India

Tapasi Roy, Anurodh S. Agrawal, Anupam Mukherjee, Akhilesh C. Mishra, Mandeep S. Chadha, Harpreet Kaur, Mamta Chawla-Sarkar

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20 Scopus citations


Acute respiratory illness (ARI) is one of the major health problems in tropical countries of Asia, like India where approximately 0.5. million children in the age group of <5. years die annually. Previously we have reported the genetic characterization of influenza A (Inf-A) strains circulating in Kolkata, eastern India. This study was initiated to characterize the genetic diversity of the circulating influenza B (Inf-B) viruses. Of 3035 nasal/throat swabs, 494 (16.3%) samples were identified as influenza A/B positive by real time RT-PCR, of which 244 samples were confirmed having Inf-B infection. Comparison of nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) sequences of HA and NA gene of Inf-B viruses revealed co-circulation of B/Yamagata and B/Victoria lineages. Of the 32 randomly selected Inf-B strains from Kolkata, seventeen strains possessed reassorted NA gene. There was a single Histidine to Asparagine substitution in the 131st position which is a part of 120 loop on HA1 region along with a deletion at position 178 in the Kolkata strains belonging to the Yamagata lineage. Amino acid substitution was observed at position 198 on NA gene in the strains B/Kol/542/2006, B/Kol/1373/2008, B/Kol/1880/2008, B/Kol/2044/2008 and in all the representative strains isolated during 2009 with respect to the circulating vaccine strains. This substitution is responsible for reduced sensitivity of neuraminidase inhibitors. The results highlight the importance of monitoring Inf-B viruses for development of antiviral resistance among circulating strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1595-1601
Number of pages7
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2011



  • Co-circulation of different lineages
  • Influenza B
  • Molecular characterization of Inf-B
  • Reassortant strain
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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