Influenza A viruses are an important cause of severe infectious diseases in humans and are characterized by their fast evolution rate. Global monitoring of these viruses is critical to detect newly emerging variants during annual epidemics. Here, we sought to genetically characterize influenza A/H1N1pdm09 and A/H3N2 viruses collected in Iran during the 2014–2015 influenza season. A total of 200 nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from patients with influenza-like illnesses. Swabs were screened for influenza A and B using real-time PCR. Furthermore, positive specimens with high virus load underwent virus isolation and genetic characterization of their hemagglutinin (HA) and M genes. Of the 200 specimens, 80 were influenza A-positive, including 44 A/H1N1pdm09 and 36 A/H3N2, while 18 were influenza B-positive. Phylogenetic analysis of the HA genes of the A/H1N1pdm09 viruses revealed the circulation of clade 6C, characterized by amino acid substitutions D97N, V234I and K283E. Analysis of the A/H3N2 viruses showed a genetic drift from the vaccine strain A/Texas/50/2012 with 5 mutations (T128A, R142G, N145S, P198S and S219F) belonging to the antigenic sites A, B, and D of the HA protein. The A/H3N2 viruses belonged to phylogenetic clades 3C.2 and 3C.3. The M gene trees of the Iranian A/H1N1pdm09 and A/H3N2 mirrored the clustering patterns of their corresponding HA trees. Our results reveal co-circulation of several influenza A virus strains in Iran during the 2014-2015 influenza season.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 22, 2017
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