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2024-7-13 4:31:56

Dandachi I, Alrezaihi A, Amin D, AlRagi N, Alhatla. Molecular surveillance of influenza A virus in Saudi Arabia: whole-genome sequencing and metagenomic approaches. Microbiol Spectr. 2024 Jun 21:e0066524
submited by kickingbird at Jun, 22, 2024 7:46 AM from Microbiol Spectr. 2024 Jun 21:e0066524

Outbreaks of influenza A viruses are generally seasonal and cause annual epidemics worldwide. Due to their frequent reassortment and evolution, annual surveillance is of paramount importance to guide vaccine strategies. The aim of this study was to explore the molecular epidemiology of influenza A virus and nasopharyngeal microbiota composition in infected patients in Saudi Arabia. A total of 103 nasopharyngeal samples from 2015 and 12 samples from 2022 were collected from patients positive for influenza A. Sequencing of influenza A as well as metatranscriptomic analysis of the nasopharyngeal microbiota was conducted using Oxford Nanopore sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of hemagglutinin, neuraminidase segments, and concatenated influenza A genomes was performed using MEGA7. Whole-genome sequencing analysis revealed changing clades of influenza A virus: from 6B.1 in 2015 to 5a.2a in 2022. One sample containing the antiviral resistance-mediating mutation S247N toward oseltamivir and zanamivir was found. Phylogenetic analysis showed the clustering of influenza A strains with the corresponding vaccine strains in each period, thus suggesting vaccine effectiveness. Principal component analysis and alpha diversity revealed the absence of a relationship between hospital admission status, age, or gender of infected patients and the nasopharyngeal microbial composition, except for the infecting clade 5a.2a. The opportunistic pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis were the most common species detected. The molecular epidemiology appears to be changing in Saudi Arabia after the COVID-19 pandemic. Antiviral resistance should be carefully monitored in future studies. In addition, the disease severity of patients as well as the composition of the nasopharyngeal microbiota in patients infected with different clades should also be assessed.IMPORTANCEIn this work, we have found that the clade of influenza A virus circulating in Riyadh, KSA, has changed over the last few years from 6B.1 to 5a.2a. Influenza strains clustered with the corresponding vaccine strains in our population, thus emphasizing vaccine effectiveness. Metatranscriptomic analysis showed no correlation between the nasopharyngeal microbiome and the clinical and/or demographic characteristics of infected patients. This is except for the 5a.2a strains isolated post-COVID-19 pandemic. The influenza virus is among the continuously evolving viruses that can cause severe respiratory infections. Continuous surveillance of its molecular diversity and the monitoring of anti-viral-resistant strains are thus of vital importance. Furthermore, exploring potential microbial markers and/or dysbiosis of the nasopharyngeal microbiota during infection could assist in the better management of patients in severe cases.

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