Analysis of a key protein in different subtypes of avian flu viruses shows that resistance to the antiviral drug amantadine in H5N1 occurs worldwide, but is especially prevalent in China, according to St. Jude
Resistance to the antiviral drug amantadine is spreading more rapidly among avian influenza viruses of H5N1 subtype in Southeast Asia than in North America, according to the study done by investigators at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.
The St. Jude team reached this conclusion by analyzing sequence data of the so-called M2 protein of avian influenza viruses of different subtypes isolated in North America and Southeast Asia during 1991-2004; and by evaluating the frequency of drug-resistant strains. Sequence data refers to the makeup of a gene coding for a particular protein, in this case, the M2 protein. A properly functioning M2 protein is key to the virus ability to replicate. The St. Jude researchers demonstrated that the largest proportion of Asian drug-resistant H5 and H9 avian influenza viruses occurred in China. A report on these findings appears in the current online edition of Virology.
Kelly Perry | EurekAlert!
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