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Detailed analysis of the genetic evolution of influenza virus during the course of an epidemic

  • A. LAVENU (a1) (a2), M. LERUEZ-VILLE (a3), M.-L. CHAIX (a3), P.-Y. BOELLE (a1) (a2) (a4), S. ROGEZ (a5), F. FREYMUTH (a6), A. HAY (a7), C. ROUZIOUX (a3) and F. CARRAT (a1) (a2) (a4)...
Abstract

The genetic variability of influenza virus is usually studied with sequences selected over numerous years and countries, and rarely within a single season. Here we examined the viral evolution and the correlation between genetic and clinical features during an epidemic. From a French prospective household-based study in 1999–2000, 99 infected patients were randomly selected. The HA1 genomic domain was sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis showed the existence of two groups of A/H3N2 viruses. We found no distinct pattern of genomic evolution within either group according to time. A spatial correlation with the nucleotide distances was shown. The average nucleotide diversity was 3·4×10−3 nucleotides per site, and did not differ between the groups. A lower number of segregating sites was observed in patients who experienced influenza-like symptoms during the previous epidemic. These results suggest that the influenza virus undergoes regular HA1 nucleotide changes, but without clonal expansion of mutant strains within a single epidemic.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
INSERM U707, Faculté de Medecine St Antoine, 27 rue de Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France. (Email: carrat@u707.jussieu.fr)
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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