Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tamiflu Resistance in Avian Flu

More bad news from the Viral Battlefront. As reported in the NEJM :

"Influenza A (H5N1) virus with an amino acid substitution in neuraminidase conferring high-level resistance to oseltamivir was isolated from two of eight Vietnamese patients during oseltamivir treatment. Both patients died of influenza A (H5N1) virus infection, despite early initiation of treatment in one patient. Surviving patients had rapid declines in the viral load to undetectable levels during treatment. These observations suggest that resistance can emerge during the currently recommended regimen of oseltamivir therapy and may be associated with clinical deterioration and that the strategy for the treatment of influenza A (H5N1) virus infection should include additional antiviral agents"

Tamiflu(Oseltamivir) is a neuroaminidase inhibitor antiviral agent. Basically the bird flu virus has changed it's protein structure and become immune to it. Clever little bug, and worse it may share this knowledge with other viruses as well. This is not good.

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