Pacific region influenza surveillance for oseltamivir resistance.J Clin Virol 2012; 54(1):73-5JC
Hawaii and the United States-affiliated Pacific islands (USAPI) host over 8 million travelers annually, most of whom originate in Asia, Australia, and the Americas where prevalence of oseltamivir resistance in 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) has been reported to be 2.5-3.5%.
To survey a collection of samples from Hawaii and the USAPI that had tested positive for the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus by RTI-PCR to assess whether antiviral resistance emerged in these island communities during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
We examined RNA extracted from Hawaiian and USAPI cases for the neuraminidase H275Y mutation associated with oseltamivir resistance by pyrosequencing.
Two hundred and sixty-three (263) 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) positive specimens were tested and 263/263 (100%) were shown to lack the mutation most commonly associated with oseltamivir resistance.
There was no evidence of oseltamivir resistant A(H1N1)pdm09 virus during the 2009 pandemic in the Pacific islands despite considerable travel exposure. Geographic isolation, the lack of a "second wave" of pandemic influenza, judicious antiviral use, aggressive vaccination, and below average tourism due to the global economic crisis may have been contributing factors. Continued surveillance and vigilance is necessary to monitor unpredictable influenza activity.