Influenza viruses resistant to neuraminidase inhibitors
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Neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) are antiviral drugs for treatment and prophylaxis of influenza. By blocking the activity of the enzyme neuraminidase, NAIs prevent new viral particles from being released. The increasing use of NAIs brings into focus the risk of drug resistance arising to the class. There are three levels of antiviral resistance according to the way that resistance can be detected or inferred: genotypic, phenotypic and clinical resistance. For many years seasonal influenza viruses resistance to NAIs was low (0.33%). Recently, there has been described an increasing number of resistant seasonal influenza strains to oseltamivir (2% in adults, 5-18% in children). In 2007 there were published data describing 14% resistant to oseltamivir strains of influenza A/H1N1/ in Europe. Approximately 0.5-1.0% of influenza A/H1N1/pdm09 isolates are currently resistant to oseltamivir. The established markers of the resistance to oseltamivir were found in 2.4% of human and 0.8% of avian isolates of influenza A/H5N1/. It has been not observed a cross resistance among oseltamivir and zanamivir. NAIs resistance in influenza viruses is relative and despite its presence patients with resistant viruses may still benefit from receiving these antivirals. The response to treatment with antivirals remains the most important proof of antiviral effectiveness. The rational use of NAIs is essential to preserve the best choice for treatment and prophylaxis of seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza.
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