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Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Jun;26(6):1418-24.

Common emergence of amantadine- and rimantadine-resistant influenza A viruses in symptomatic immunocompromised adults.

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Acute Viral Respiratory Diseases Unit, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The importance and significance of amantadine- or rimantadine-resistant influenza viruses in immunocompromised patients was studied in a population of adult bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients and patients with leukemia prospectively cultured for respiratory viruses. Influenza A viruses were isolated from 29 patients with acute respiratory illness (14 BMT recipients and 15 patients with leukemia). Fifteen patients (52%) received amantadine (n = 4) or rimantadine (n = 11) therapy. All influenza isolates recovered from six patients shedding virus for > or = 3 days were screened for antiviral susceptibility; resistant isolates were further genetically characterized. Initial influenza isolates were susceptible to amantadine or rimantadine, but subsequent isolates from five of six patients were resistant. Influenza-associated mortality was similar among patients with and without documented antiviral resistance (2 of 5 vs. 5 of 24). We conclude that development of antiviral resistance in immunocompromised individuals should be considered when they have been treated with antivirals and have shed influenza virus for a prolonged period. Isolation procedures should be instituted for all immunocompromised patients with influenza, both during and after therapy with amantadine or rimantadine.

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