Duration of fever and symptoms in children after treatment with baloxavir marboxil and oseltamivir during the 2018-2019 season and detection of variant influenza a viruses with polymerase acidic subunit substitutions.Antiviral Res. 2020 11; 183:104951.AR
We conducted a prospective, multicenter, non-randomized observational study to assess the duration of fever and symptoms of influenza A/H1N1pdm09 and A/H3N2 infected children < 19 years old treated with either baloxavir or oseltamivir. Additionally, these symptoms were investigated in association with pre- and post-baloxavir treatment-emergent polymerase acidic unit (PA) variants as compared to non-substituted viruses. Following receipt of informed consent, baloxavir was administered to 102 influenza A patients, and oseltamivir to 52 patients during the 2018-2019 influenza season in Japan. The average age was higher in the baloxavir treatment group compared to the oseltamivir treatment group (10.6 ± 2.7 versus 6.9 ± 2.9 years old, p < 0.01). The duration of fever and symptoms in baloxavir-treated A/H1N1pdm09 and A/H3N2-infected children did not differ from those in oseltamivir-treated groups (median 22.0, 11.8, 23.0, and 21.0 h, and median 114.5, 121.0, 123.0, and 122.0 h, respectively). One (1.2%) of 83 A/H3N2 patients possessed a PA/I38T substituted virus prior to treatment. The frequency of PA variants in post-treatment samples obtained 2-11 days after beginning of baloxavir was 12.5% (4/32) for A/H1N1pdm09 and 14.1% (9/64) for A/H3N2 when the total number of cases was used as the denominator, however, were 57.1% (4/7) and 33.3% (9/27) when PCR-positive cases at the time of second sampling was used as the denominator. The most frequent PA substitution was I38T (9), with E23K (1), I38K (1), I38M (1), and PA/I38S (1) also observed. The duration of fever and overall symptoms did not differ significantly following baloxavir treatment in individuals with PA variant viruses, non-substituted virus, or in those that were PCR negative at the second sampling (median 20, 24 and 11 h, and median 121, 115 and 121 h, respectively). Rebound of viral RNA load was observed in 13.5% (2/13) of PA variants but it was not associated with recurrence of fever and symptoms. Hence, prolonged fever or symptoms were not observed in children treated with baloxavir following emergence of PA variants, however, further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical impact of PA variants.