Influenza Project in Myanmar
Reiko Saito*1, Yadanar Kyaw*2, Yi Yi Myint*3,
Clyde Dapat*4,Go Hasegawa*1, and Makoto Naito*1
*1Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata University, 1-757 Asahimachi-dori, Chuo-ward, Niigata City, Niigata 951-8510, Japan
*2Thingangyun Sanpya Hospital, Yangon, Myanmar
*3Department of Medical Research (Upper Myanmar), Ministry of Health, Mandalay, Myanmar
*4Department of Virology, Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan
The epidemiological study of influenza in Southeast Asia is limited. We surveyed influenza in Myanmar from 2007 to 2013. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from patients in the two cities of Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. Samples were screened using rapid influenza diagnostic kits and identified by virus isolation. Isolates were characterized by cyclingprobe-based real-time PCR, drug susceptibility assay, and sequencing. Samples collected numbered 5,173, from which 1,686 influenza viruses were isolated during the seven-year study period. Of these, 187 strains were of seasonal influenza A(H1N1), 274 of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, 791 of influenza A(H3N2), and 434 of influenza B. Interestingly, two zanamivir and amantadine-resistant strains each were detected in 2007 and 2008. These rare dual-resistant strains had a Q136K mutation in the NA protein and S31N substitution in the M2 protein. Our collaboration raised the influenza surveillance laboratory capacity in Myanmar and led Yangon’s National Health Laboratory – one of the nation’s leading research institutes – to being designated a National Influenza Center by the World Health Organization.
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