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Pandemic flu, like seasonal H1N1, shows signs of resisting Tamiflu
Date:3/1/2010

nies said. "We can see it happening already.

"This has potential to indicate that we are going to have to think of something else to use to treat pandemic H1N1 influenza."

The same study showed that resistance to a second antiviral drug zanamivir, known by the brand name Relenza is not as prevalent, suggesting this medication might be a good alternative to Tamiflu, he said.

The research appears online in the International Journal of Health Geographics.

So far, most pandemic H1N1 strains that have been isolated from humans are susceptible to Tamiflu. As of Feb. 3, 2010, 225 cases of pandemic H1N1 were reported to be resistant to the drug out of the predicted millions of cases of illnesses with swine flu across the United States and elsewhere in the world.

But those resistant cases, as well as the way mutations have led to Tamiflu resistance in seasonal H1N1, offer clues about how the virus changes itself to survive against the popular drug.

The two types of H1N1 virus, seasonal and pandemic, are similar on the surface, where their proteins interact with cells in the human body. But the internal genes of the viruses are configured differently.

The researchers zeroed in on specific points in the neuraminidase protein this protein is what the "N" refers to in these virus subtype names. Resistance to oseltamivir in H1N1 can evolve as a result of a point mutation at one of several locations on this protein, Janies said.

He and colleagues analyzed mutations in neuraminidase proteins from 1,210 seasonal H1N1 viruses isolated around the world between September 2004 and December 2009. For pandemic H1N1, the researchers examined mutations in specific points on neuraminidase proteins of 1,824 viruses collected between March 2009 and December 2009.

"With the rapid availability of public sequence data on pandemic influenza, we are able to essentially watch evolution in real time," Janies
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Contact: Daniel Janies
daniel.janies@osumc.edu
614-292-1202
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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