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Takashita E.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Kiso M.,Tokyo Medical University | Fujisaki S.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Yokoyama M.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | And 78 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2015

Between September 2013 and July 2014, 2,482 influenza 2009 pandemic A(H1N1) [A(H1N1)pdm09] viruses were screened in Japan for the H275Y substitution in their neuraminidase (NA) protein, which confers cross-resistance to oseltamivir and peramivir. We found that a large cluster of the H275Y mutant virus was present prior to the main influenza season in Sapporo/Hokkaido, with the detection rate for this mutant virus reaching 29% in this area. Phylogenetic analysis suggested the clonal expansion of a single mutant virus in Sapporo/Hokkaido. To understand the reason for this large cluster, we examined the in vitro and in vivo properties of the mutant virus. We found that it grew well in cell culture, with growth comparable to that of the wild-type virus. The cluster virus also replicated well in the upper respiratory tract of ferrets and was transmitted efficiently between ferrets by way of respiratory droplets. Almost all recently circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, including the cluster virus, possessed two substitutions in NA, V241I and N369K, which are known to increase replication and transmission fitness. A structural analysis of NA predicted that a third substitution (N386K) in the NA of the cluster virus destabilized the mutant NA structure in the presence of the V241I and N369K substitutions. Our results suggest that the cluster virus retained viral fitness to spread among humans and, accordingly, caused the large cluster in Sapporo/Hokkaido. However, the mutant NA structure was less stable than that of the wild-type virus. Therefore, once the wild-type virus began to circulate in the community, the mutant virus could not compete and faded out. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

Watanabe T.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Kikuchi H.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Matsuda R.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Hayashi T.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Food Hygienic Society of Japan | Year: 2015

Here, we set out to improve our previously developed methylmercury analytical method, involving phenyl derivatization and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In the improved method, phenylation of methylmercury with sodium tetraphenylborate was carried out in a toluene/ water two-phase system, instead of in water alone. The modification enabled derivatization at optimum pH, and the formation of by-products was dramatically reduced. In addition, adsorption of methyl phenyl mercury in the GC system was suppressed by co-injection of PEG200, enabling continuous analysis without loss of sensitivity. The performance of the improved analytical method was independently evaluated by three analysts using certified reference materials and methylmercury- spiked fresh fish samples. The present analytical method was validated as suitable for determination of compliance with the provisional regulation value for methylmercury in fish, set in the Food Sanitation haw. Source

Kishida N.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Fujisaki S.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Yokoyama M.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Sato H.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | And 19 more authors.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2012

The vaccine strains against influenza virus A/H3N2 for the 2010-2011 season and influenza virus B for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons in Japan are a high-growth reassortant A/Victoria/210/2009 (X-187) strain and an egg-adapted B/Brisbane/60/2008 (Victoria lineage) strain, respectively. Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) tests with postinfection ferret antisera indicated that the antisera raised against the X-187 and egg-adapted B/Brisbane/60/2008 vaccine production strains poorly inhibited recent epidemic isolates of MDCK-grown A/H3N2 and B/Victoria lineage viruses, respectively. The low reactivity of the ferret antisera may be attributable to changes in the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of production strains during egg adaptation. To evaluate the efficacy of A/H3N2 and B vaccines, the cross-reactivities of postvaccination human serum antibodies against A/H3N2 and B/Victoria lineage epidemic isolates were assessed by a comparison of the geometric mean titers (GMTs) of HI and neutralization (NT) tests. Serum antibodies elicited by the X-187 vaccine had low cross-reactivity to both MDCK-and egg-grown A/H3N2 isolates by HI test and narrow cross-reactivity by NT test in all age groups. On the other hand, the GMTs to B viruses detected by HI test were below the marginal level, so the cross-reactivity was assessed by NT test. The serum neutralizing antibodies elicited by the B/Brisbane/60/2008 vaccine reacted well with egg-grown B viruses but exhibited remarkably low reactivity to MDCK-grown B viruses. The results of these human serological studies suggest that the influenza A/H3N2 vaccine for the 2010-2011 season and B vaccine for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons may possess insufficient efficacy and low efficacy, respectively. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

Tsuruda S.,Fukuoka City Institute for Hygiene and the Environment | Akaki K.,Fukuoka City Institute for Hygiene and the Environment | Hiwaki H.,Fukuoka City Institute for Hygiene and the Environment | Suzuki A.,Chiba University | Akiyama H.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences
Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry | Year: 2012

A rapid multiplex real-time PCR assay was developed to achieve highly specific, simultaneous detection of two kinds of mushrooms, Omphalotus guepiniformis and Lentinula edodes. Primers and TaqMan minor groove binder probes were designed according to the internal transcribed spacers 1-5.8S region of rDNA and evaluated by the specificity for fruiting bodies of 17 O. guepiniformis, 16 L. edodes and samples from 57 other species. DNA extracts of all the target species had positive signals with no cross-reaction, the limit of detection being 0.00025 ng of DNA. Threshold cycle (Ct) values for raw and processed fruiting bodies and for fruiting bodies (1% (w/w)) mixed with foodstuffs or artificial gastric juice contents ranged from 17.16 to 26.60 for both examined species. This new assay proved specific to the target species, highly sensitive, and applicable to processed food samples and gastric juice contents, making it useful for rapidly identifying O. guepiniformis and L. edodes. Source

Amemura-Maekawa J.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Kura F.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Helbig J.H.,TU Dresden | Chang B.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | And 32 more authors.
Journal of Medical Microbiology | Year: 2010

We collected 86 unrelated clinical Legionella pneumophila strains that were isolated in Japan during the period 1980-2008. Most (80.2 %) belonged to serogroup 1, followed by serogroups 5, 3 and 2. Interestingly, the patients with L. pneumophila serogroup 1 had a significantly higher male-to-female ratio (12.4) than the patients with other L. pneumophila serogroups (2.0) (OR, 10.5; 95% CI, 2.5-44.5). When the serogroup 1 strains were analysed by monoclonal antibody (mAb) typing, the most prevalent subgroup was Benidorm (34.9% of all isolates). Moreover, 79.7% of the serogroup 1 isolates were bound by mAb 3/1, which recognizes the virulence-associated epitope. When all 86 isolates were subjected to sequence-based typing (SBT) using seven loci, they could be divided into 53 sequence types (STs). The ST with the most isolates (seven) was ST1, to which most isolates from patients and environments around the world belong. However, six of the seven ST1 isolates were isolated before 1994. Other major STs were ST306 (n=6), ST120 (n=5) and ST138 (n=5). All ST306 and ST138 isolates, except for one isolate (ST306), were suspected or confirmed to be derived from bath water, which suggests that these strains prefer bath habitats. The sources of all ST1 and ST120 isolates remain unclear. By combining the SBT and mAb data, the 86 isolates could be divided into 59 types (discrimination index, 0.984). This confirms the usefulness of this combination in epidemiological studies. © 2010 SGM. Source

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