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J Infect Dis. 2004 Aug 1;190(3):519-26. Epub 2004 Jun 30.

Effect of antiviral treatment on the outcome of secondary bacterial pneumonia after influenza.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-2794, USA.


Secondary bacterial pneumonia is an important cause of influenza-associated death. Although antibacterial therapy is standard, antiviral therapy has been ignored because viral infections usually resolve by the time bacterial pneumonia presents. In the present study, antiviral compounds were tested in a mouse model of secondary pneumococcal pneumonia after influenza. Treatment with oseltamivir improved survival in mice from 0% to 75%, even when therapy was delayed for up to 5 days after infection with influenza virus. In mice, treatment with rimantadine had no effect on survival. Treatment with ampicillin cleared infection but, in the absence of treatment with oseltamivir, did not improve survival. Pneumonia developed in only 7 of the 22 mice receiving oseltamivir, and subsequent treatment with ampicillin resulted in cure (100% survival). Treatment of the predisposing influenza-virus infection with inhibitors specific for the viral neuraminidase may improve the efficacy of antibiotics and increase survival in persons who are at high risk for complications and mortality during influenza.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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