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J Med Virol. 2007 Oct;79(10):1577-86.

Neuraminidase inhibitor resistance in influenza viruses.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.


Zanamivir and oseltamivir, the currently marketed influenza virus neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs), are prescribed for the treatment and prophylaxis of influenza and are being stockpiled for pandemic influenza. Oseltamivir resistance has been reported in up to 2% of patients in clinical trials of oseltamivir and in up to 18% of treated children. There are also reports in at least three patients treated with oseltamivir for influenza A (H5N1) infections. At this stage, there are no reports of resistance occurring to zanamivir in immunocompetent patients. Zanamivir and oseltamivir bind differently at the neuraminidase catalytic site and this contributes to different drug resistance profiles. The magnitude and duration of NAI concentrations at the site of infection are also expected to be important factors and are determined by route and timing of drug administration, dose, and pharmacokinetic differences between patients. In addition, the type, strain, and virulence of the influenza strain and the nature of the immune response all appear to play a role in determining the likelihood of drug resistance arising. The clinical significance of a particular NAI-resistant isolate from a patient is often not clear but virus viability and transmissibility are clearly important characteristics. Early initiation of NAI treatment in suspected cases of influenza is important for maximizing efficacy and minimizing the risk of drug resistance. Higher NAI doses and longer periods of treatment may be required for patients with influenza A (H5N1) infections but further work is needed in this area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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