Research press release


Nature Communications

Virology: Drug-resistant H7N9 influenza is highly transmissible


今回、Nicole Bouvierたちは、中国の患者から単離された変異型H7N9ウイルスについて、その薬剤耐性と感染性を解析した。その結果、変異型H7N9ウイルスが、抗ウイルス薬オセルタミビル(商品名:タミフル)に対して強い耐性を持つことが判明した。また、変異型H7N9ウイルスは、変異していないH7N9ウイルスと同じ効率で、培養されたヒト細胞に感染し、実験動物間で広がることも分かった。これは異例なことといえる。季節性インフルエンザウイルスが薬剤耐性を獲得すると、通常、宿主間での伝播能力と宿主内での増殖能力が低下するという代償を伴うのが通例だからだ。


A mutation in newly emerged H7N9 influenza can render it resistant to the only class of drugs active against the virus, without affecting its ability to spread in animals. This finding, published in a study this week in Nature Communications, reveals that unlike seasonal flu, drug-resistant H7N9 can replicate in animals as efficiently as its non-resistant counterpart.

Nicole Bouvier and colleagues analysed mutated H7N9 virus, isolated from a patient in China, for its resistance to drugs and infectivity. They found that the virus was highly resistant to antiviral drug oseltamivir, also known as Tamiflu. In addition, it could infect cultured human cells and spread between laboratory animals as efficiently as its non-mutated counterpart. This is unusual, as it is known that when seasonal influenza viruses gain resistance to drugs, it usually happens at a cost to the virus - the cost being a reduced ability to transmit between hosts and to grow within them.

H7N9 influenza emerged earlier this year in China and has caused over 130 human infections so far. As a vaccine against this strain of influenza is not available yet, antiviral drugs are at the moment the only means of controlling infection with H7N9. It is known that treatment with antivirals can lead to development of drug resistance in influenza, and this study further underscores the need of prudent use of antivirals in H7N9 influenza infections.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms3854

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