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Genotyping assay for the identification of 2009-2010 pandemic and seasonal H1N1 influenza virus reassortants


New Zealand identified its first pandemic H1N1 influenza cases in late April 2009, immediately prior to the historical start of the New Zealand influenza season. Both pandemic and oseltamivir-resistant seasonal H1N1 viruses cocirculated in the population for a period of time. Thus, concerns were raised about the possibility of reassortment events between the two strains. An RT-PCR-based genotyping assay was developed so that H1N1 influenza coinfections and reassortants could be detected quickly. The assay differentiated effectively the seasonal and pandemic strains. It also confirmed the identification of the first reported coinfection of pandemic and seasonal H1N1 strains during the 2009 Southern Hemisphere influenza season in New Zealand.

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