Antiviral Resistance in Influenza Viruses: Clinical and Epidemiological Aspects

  • Frederick G. Hayden
Part of the Infectious Disease book series (ID)

Two classes of anti-viral agents, the M2 ion channel inhibitors (amantadine, rimantadine) and neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir) are available for treatment and prevention of infl uenza in most countries of the world. The principle concerns about emergence of antiviral resistance in infl uenza viruses are loss of drug effi cacy, transmission of resistant variants, and possible increased virulence or transmissibility of resistant variants (1). Because seasonal infl uenza is usually an acute, self-limited illness in which viral clearance occurs rapidly due to innate and adaptive host immune responses, the emergence of drug-resistant variants would be anticipated to have modest effects on clinical recovery, except perhaps in immunocompromised or immunologically naïve hosts, such as young infants or during the appearance of a novel strain. In contrast to the limited impact of resistance emergence in the treated immunocompetent individual, the epidemiologic impact of resistance emergence and transmission could be considerable, including loss of both prophylactic and therapeutic activity for a particular drug, at the household, community, or perhaps global level. Infl uenza epidemiology in temperate climates is expected to provide some protection against widespread circulation of resistant variants, as viruses do not persist between epidemics but rather are re-introduced each season and new variants appear often (2, 3).


Influenza Virus Avian Influenza Resistant Variant Neuraminidase Inhibitor Oseltamivir Carboxylate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick G. Hayden
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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