An avian influenza virus isolated from an infected Vietnamese girl has been determined to be resistant to the drug oseltamivir, the compound better known by its trade name Tamiflu, and the drug officials hope will serve as the front line of defense for a feared influenza pandemic.
Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working with colleagues in Vietnam and Japan, report in a brief communication in next week’s edition (Oct. 20, 2005) of the journal Nature that a young girl, provided with a prophylactic dose of the drug after experiencing mild influenza symptoms, developed a strain of the virus that was highly resistant to the drug.
The finding suggests that health officials - now stockpiling millions of doses of the drug to forestall a global outbreak of influenza and buy time to develop and mass produce a vaccine - should also consider other options, according to Yoshihiro Kawaoka, an international authority on influenza and the senior author of the Nature paper.
Yoshihiro Kawaoka | EurekAlert!
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