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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


ESPINOLA, EE et al. Detection of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in Paraguay in 2009, and amplification of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2010, vol.37, n.3, pp.181-186. ISSN 1683-9803.

Introduction: The pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus, whose circulation was detected in April 2009 in Mexico and the United States, is the latest pandemic virus since the cases reported in Hong Kong in 1968. The genome of the influenza A virus consists of 8 segments of single-stranded RNA of negative polarity, coding for 10 proteins. The hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes encode for two surface proteins and are used in the analysis of genetic variability. Objectives: a) to detect circulation of the pandemic virus in patients with clinical suspicion of influenza infection and b) design a strategy to fully amplify the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes. Materials and Methods: A total of 181 pharyngeal swabs were collected and sent to the Hospital de Clínicas for analysis using Real-Time RT-PCR (reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction in real time) between 6 August and 11 October 2009. To design the amplification of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes, we used bioinformatic tools and polimerase chain reaction. Results: Of the samples analyzed, 27 (14.9%) were positive for the new pandemic virus. Moreover, the complete amplification of both genes provided the expected results: 1678-base pairs (bp) for the hemagglutinin, and 1427-bp for neuraminidase. Conclusions: The use of this technology for amplification will eventually allow sequencing to identify genetic variations of the virus that could have an impact on human health.

Keywords : Influenza A (H1N1); hemagglutinin gene; neuraminidase gene.

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