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Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2013

Shanghai researchers report Tamiflu resistance in avian influenza H7N9

A new study published online today reveals that the novel (new)  H7N9 bird flu strain has developed resistance to common antiviral drugs like Tamiflu.

Under a high magnification, this negatively-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) captured some of the ultrastructural details exhibited by the new influenza A (H7N9) virus. Image/CDC

Under a high magnification, this negatively-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) captured some of the ultrastructural details exhibited by the new influenza A (H7N9) virus.
Image/CDC

In a study by Dr. Zhenghong Yuang of the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and colleagues, published in The Lancet, say, “The apparent ease with which antiviral resistance emerges in A/H7N9 viruses is concerning; it needs to be closely monitored and considered in future pandemic response plans”, suggesting a potential lack of tools in dealing with the lethal virus.

The study found that three severely ill people did not respond to the group of medicines that are the standard weapon against threatened flu pandemics. Two died and the third still needed specialist equipment to oxygenate their blood.

Yuang’s team also found bits of H7N9 virus in the patients’ throats, blood, stools and urine. It is possible that this means the virus can spread in various routes — not just through the usual mode of respiratory secretions, they said.

H7N9 viruses are already resistant to the only other class of flu medication, the adamantane drugs. And study of other H7 viruses suggests vaccines made to protect against this flu family do not induce high levels of protective antibodies.

Tamiflu is a pill in a class of drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors. They currently offer the only known treatment option for bird flu. GlaxoSmithKline’s inhaled medicine Relenza is the the same class of drugs.

There have been 131 confirmed cases and 36 deaths since the virus was first reported early this year. There have been no new cases of the infection for more than two weeks.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Tamiflu Saved Lives During Swine Flu Pandemic, Study ConfirmsBig Online News | Big Online News says:

    […] on TamifluShocking Study Shows Tamiflu Does Not Have Any Effect on Swine Flu – Top US World NewsShanghai researchers report Tamiflu resistance in avian influenza H7N9 – The Global DispatchWhat does the new Tamiflu data really tell usFlu Drugs Tamiflu and Relenza May Not Prevent […]

  2. Shanghai researchers report Tamiflu resistance in avian influenza H7N9 – The Global Dispatch | Jackie's Blog says:

    […] Shanghai researchers report Tamiflu resistance in avian influenza H7N9 – The Global Dispatch. […]

  3. Dr David Hill says:

    Tamiflu has never been that good anyway. Vietnamese doctors working at the ‘coal-face’ in 2009 said that it was ‘useless’ as it did not save any Vietnamese that were infected. The only way to stop the killer virus emerging is to address it at ‘source’. That’s what they did in 1997 in Hong Kong and it stopped the human-to-human killer virus in its tracks. That strategy was http://www.thewif.org.uk/home/shortridge_thailand_2008.pdf , but because there are not the tens of billions in drug sales it has been suppressed by the pharmaceutical companies. The irony of it is when it comes, as it will like the Spanish Flu did, it will decimate the global pharmaceutical industry in its wake. Indeed it will make the financial meltdown look like a storm in a teacup in comparison – that’s how mad the vaccine strategy really is.

    Dr David Hill
    World Innovation Foundation

  4. Shanghai researchers report Tamiflu resistance ... says:

    […] CBS News Shanghai researchers report Tamiflu resistance in…  […]

  5. Muscularity | NerdlyPainter says:

    […] Shanghai researchers report Tamiflu resistance in avian influenza H7N9 (theglobaldispatch.com) […]

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