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H7N9 influenza strain resistant to antivirals, but tests fail to identify resistance
Date:7/15/2013

e the ability to spread from person to person. If it does, and if the virus reemerges in the fall, the situation with H7N9 could become quite serious. In the event of a widespread outbreak, Tamiflu and Relenza will work alright as treatments, but the development of the R292K mutation puts those options in jeopardy, says Webster.

But the news isn't all bad. Webster also points out that antiviral resistance is something of a burden for influenza viruses, and that fitter wild-type H7N9 strains may eventually win out over resistant strains. In the absence of a drug like Tamiflu, Webster says, it seems unlikely that these resistant viruses would acquire epidemic characteristics.

Regardless of the specific evolutionary steps H7N9 will take, influenza is an ongoing threat - and the lack of suitable drugs is a grave cause for concern.

"The great need at the moment are additional drugs aimed at additional sites in the influenza genome. There are some [drugs] in the pipeline, but they are still under testing at the moment," says Webster. "We'd better get some vaccine seed stocks up and ready. The antiviral option for controlling H7N9 isn't too good."


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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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