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Antiviral Res. 2006 Jul;70(3):121-31. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Combination chemotherapy, a potential strategy for reducing the emergence of drug-resistant influenza A variants.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 332 N. Lauderdale, Memphis, TN 38105-2794, USA.

Abstract

Rapid development of resistant influenza variants after amantadine treatment is one of the main drawbacks of M2 blockers. On the other hand, the emergence of variants with low susceptibility to the neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors is limited. In the present study we examined whether combination therapy with two classes of anti-influenza drugs can affect the emergence of resistant variants in vitro. We observed that virus yields of human A/Nanchang/1/99 (H1N1), A/Panama/2007/99 (H3N2), and A/Hong Kong/156/97 (H5N1) viruses in MDCK cells were significantly reduced (P<0.005) when the cells were treated with the combination of amantadine and low doses of oseltamivir carboxylate (< or =1microM). After five sequential passages in MDCK cells, the M2 protein of viruses cultivated with amantadine alone mutated at positions V27A and S31N/I. Viruses cultivated with oseltamivir carboxylate (> or =0.001microM) possessed mutations in the hemagglutinin (HA) protein. These variants showed reduced efficiency of binding to sialic acid receptors and decreased sensitivity to NA inhibitor in plaque reduction assay. Importantly, no mutations in the HA, NA, and M2 proteins were detected when the drugs were used in combination. Our results suggest that combination chemotherapy with M2 blocker and NA inhibitor reduced the emergence of drug-resistant influenza variants in vitro. This strategy could be an option for the control of influenza virus infection, and combinations with other novel drugs should be explored.

PMID:
16516984
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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