Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
12-March-2015 19:59 IST

From National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune

Certain media inquiries have been received by National Institute of Virology, Pune, seeking information on possible mutations of Influenza A H1N1 virus circulating in India.

A publication in Cell Host & Microbe, 17, March 11, 2015 Elsevier Inc. [Page 279-282], entitled “Influenza surveillance: 2014-2015 H1N1 “Swine”-Derived Influenza Viruses from India” has been cited. Our experts have carefully examined the findings mentioned in the above-mentioned publication. We found that the strain analyzed in the said publication and the sequence data of the original H1N1 virus A/India/6427/2014 as available with NIV did not show any of these mutations. Subsequent report on antigenic/genetic analysis of this H1N1 virus by CDC/WHO as communicated to NIV also did not report any oseltamivir resistance or any other genetic changes in HA genes that could be virulent markers. The virus was similar to A/North Carolina/04-2014. The genetic analysis of the HA gene of the H1N1 isolates from the present 2015 outbreak do not show any such mutations as mentioned in the above publication.

Moreover, the strain mentioned in the report of 2014 has no relevance to the current outbreak of 2015. Recently NIV has analyzed six full genomes, which also suggests absence of such mutations.

This press release has been issued so that public has the correct information and does not get confused with the incorrect conclusion published in the above said publication.