H7N9 bird flu drug resistance concern.

31 maio

Someone Somewhere

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Drug resistance has been detected in patients infected with the new bird flu that has emerged in China, say doctors.

The H7N9 virus became resistant to Tamiflu in three out of 14 patients treated with antiviral drugs at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre.

The researchers, writing in the Lancet, said resistance emerged with “apparent ease” and was “concerning”.

There have been no new cases of the infection for more than two weeks.

Resistance

Doctors analysed the virus in 14 patients. All had pneumonia and half needed ventilation to keep them alive.

Treatment with antivirals reduced levels of H7N9 in most patients and led to an improvement in symptoms.

Yet the treatment failed in three patients. Genetic testing of the virus in these patients showed it had acquired the mutations needed to resist the drugs.

The doctors believe that in at least one patient the emergence of resistance was a…

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