V3. Studies of treatment and prevention of viral infections
Oral Abstract Submission
Baloxavir marboxil (BXM), a cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor, has been recently approved in the US for the treatment of influenza infections. It is superior to oseltamivir for reducing time of viral shedding but is reported to have a low barrier of resistance. We sought to evaluate the viral fitness of the predominant BXM-resistant I38T PA mutant in the A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 viral backgrounds.
Recombinant A/Quebec/144147/2009 (H1N1) and A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2) influenza viruses and their respective I38T PA mutants were generated by reverse genetics. Standardized inoculums (500 PFUs) of wild-type (WT) and mutant mixtures were inoculated on α2,6 MDCK cells. On day 3 post-infection (pi), the supernatants were collected and the ratios of WT/mutant viruses were determined by droplet digital PCR using specific LNA probes. Single infections and competitive experiments were also performed in C56/BL6 mice with quantification of lung viral titers on days 3 and 6 pi.
In vitro A/H1N1 studies showed similar total copy numbers for the WT and mutant viruses on day 3 pi (1.2 x 10*9 and 1.3 x 10*9 copies/ml, respectively). The initial 50%/50% mixture became 70%/30% (WT/ mutant) after one passage in cells. For A/H3N2, the total copy numbers were 8.1 x 10*9 and 1.0 x 10*9 copies/ml for the WT and mutant viruses. The initial 50%/50% mixture became 94%/6% (WT/ mutant) after one passage. The I38T mutants remained stable after 4 passages in α2,6 MDCK cells. In mice, the A/H1N1 WT and I38T mutant induced similar weight loss and generated comparable lung titers on days 3 and 6 pi. In contrast, the weight loss of the A/H3N2 mutant was greater than that of the WT between days 3-7 pi with comparable lung titers on days 3 and 6. Following infection with 50%/50% mixtures, the mutant virus predominated over the WT on day 3 pi (73% A/H1N1 and 58% A/H3N2).
The BXM-resistant I38T PA mutant replicates well both in vitro and in vivo in the A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 backgrounds. Surveillance for the emergence and transmission of such mutant in the community is required.