Bioluminescence-based neuraminidase inhibition assay for monitoring influenza virus drug susceptibility in clinical specimens

Henju Marjuki, Vasiliy P. Mishin, Katrina Sleeman, Margaret Okomo-Adhiambo, Tiffany G. Sheu, Lizheng Guo, Xiyan Xu, Larisa V. Gubareva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The QFlu prototype bioluminescence-based neuraminidase (NA) inhibition (NI) assay kit was designed to detect NA inhibitor (NAI)-resistant influenza viruses at point of care. Here, we evaluated its suitability for drug susceptibility assessment at a surveillance laboratory. A comprehensive panel of reference viruses (n = 14) and a set of 90 seasonal influenza virus A and B isolates were included for testing with oseltamivir and/or zanamivir in the QFlu assay using the manufacturer-recommended protocol and a modified version attuned to surveillance requirements. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) generated were compared with those of NI assays currently used for monitoring influenza drug susceptibility, the fluorescent (FL) and chemiluminescent (CL) assays. To provide proof of principle, clinical specimens (n = 235) confirmed by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR to contain influenza virus A(H1N1)pdm09 and prescreened for the oseltamivir resistance marker H275Y using pyrosequencing were subsequently tested in the QFlu assay. All three NI assays were able to discriminate the reference NA variants and their matching wild-type viruses based on the difference in their IC50s. Unless the antigenic types were first identified, certain NA variants (e.g., H3N2 with E119V) could be detected among seasonal viruses using the FL assays only. Notably, the QFlu assay identified oseltamivir-resistant A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses carrying the H275Y marker directly in clinical specimens, which is not feasible with the other two phenotypic assays, which required prior virus culturing in cells. Furthermore, The QFlu assay allows detection of the influenza virus A and B isolates carrying established and potential NA inhibitor resistance markers and may become a useful tool for monitoring drug resistance in clinical specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5209-5215
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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