Breaking News
November 21, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Health nerd books for the holidays
November 21, 2018 - Study uncovers new mechanism controlling the master cancer regulator
November 21, 2018 - Online communication technologies could stave off depression among seniors, shows study
November 21, 2018 - FDA Approves Gamifant (emapalumab-lzsg) for Primary Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
November 21, 2018 - Artificial intelligence predicts treatment effectiveness
November 21, 2018 - A bicyclist’s road to recovery after traumatic brain injury
November 21, 2018 - New research project to combat obesity, type 2 diabetes receives NIH funding
November 21, 2018 - Humans play key role in distribution and transmission of Bartonella bacteria
November 21, 2018 - First modeling system developed for testing age-specific human immune responses to vaccines
November 21, 2018 - FDA Alert: Gilenya (fingolimod): Drug Safety Communication
November 21, 2018 - Uric Acid Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 21, 2018 - Researchers use genetics to predict response to antipsychotic medications
November 21, 2018 - Proposal to include the price of drugs in television ads is flawed, Stanford scholar writes
November 21, 2018 - Disrupting reproduction strategy of disease-causing parasites could help fight malaria
November 20, 2018 - ACAAI: Almost 2 Percent of Children Have Milk Allergy
November 20, 2018 - Congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract – Genetics Home Reference
November 20, 2018 - Can video games improve the health of older adults with schizophrenia?
November 20, 2018 - Can flicking a molecular switch restore the aging immune system’s competence?
November 20, 2018 - Restek launches new Oregon cannabis pesticide standards
November 20, 2018 - Health sector coalition urges Government to safeguard patients in future UK-EU relationship
November 20, 2018 - Study evaluates second-hand marijuana smoke exposure among children
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify three genes responsible for recurrent molar pregnancies
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify multisystem disorder caused by bi-allelic variants in CCDC47 gene
November 20, 2018 - Dining Out With Allergies Is Tough, But These Steps Can Help
November 20, 2018 - Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria
November 20, 2018 - AI matched, outperformed radiologists in screening X-rays for certain diseases | News Center
November 20, 2018 - Adolescents increasingly choose marijuana over cigarettes, alcohol
November 20, 2018 - World’s first medical imaging scanner produces diagnostic scan of the whole human body
November 20, 2018 - Cytocybernetics receives NIMH award to move into neuronal drug development
November 20, 2018 - Researchers discover new information on pathological mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease
November 20, 2018 - ‘Unknown’ enzyme may be key to new treatment for inflammatory diseases
November 20, 2018 - Recreational drug may help people regain trust in others
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify gene vital for post-stroke recovery
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify novel target for neuron regeneration, functional recovery in spinal cord injury
November 20, 2018 - Potential new therapeutic approach developed for synovial sarcoma
November 20, 2018 - Skeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom
November 20, 2018 - Autism behaviors show unique brain network fingerprints in infants
November 20, 2018 - Location matters for inflammation clearance
November 20, 2018 - Towards finding a druggable cancer target
November 20, 2018 - Ultragenyx Announces Intent to Submit New Drug Application to U.S. FDA for UX007 for the Treatment of Long-chain Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders in Mid-2019
November 20, 2018 - Cooling ‘brains on fire’ to treat Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - Less pollution could increase the average lifespan of Copenhageners by an entire year in 2040
November 20, 2018 - Abramson Cancer Center becomes the 28th member institution of National Comprehensive Cancer Network
November 20, 2018 - The plug and play time-resolved spectrometer from PicoQuant
November 20, 2018 - Breakthrough technology offers new hope to people with glaucoma, retinitis and macular degeneration
November 20, 2018 - New report highlights key focus areas to help cancer screening realize its full potential
November 20, 2018 - International experts to discuss strategies to maintain spatial orientation in old age
November 20, 2018 - Low-protein, high-carb diet may promote healthy brain ageing
November 20, 2018 - Scientists discover new inhibitor that decreases lung inflammation
November 20, 2018 - Participation project calls for relaxing research ban on germline interventions
November 20, 2018 - Karyopharm’s Selinexor Receives Fast Track Designation from FDA for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
November 20, 2018 - Arthritis by the Numbers: Book of Trusted Facts & Figures
November 20, 2018 - Drug homing method helps rethink Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - AHF commends the passage of global AIDS funding in the House, calls for swift approval
November 20, 2018 - The search for new psychiatric disorder treatments
November 20, 2018 - New research offers hope for simpler way to diagnose and treat cancer
November 20, 2018 - Study sheds light on the infection mechanism of influenza virus
November 20, 2018 - Storage failures of eggs and embryos gain a new perspective
November 20, 2018 - Buyers of short-term health plans: Wise or shortsighted?
November 20, 2018 - Study indicates that frogs in virus-exposed groups breed at young age
November 20, 2018 - FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Patients Not To Use Sterile Drug Products from Pharm D Solutions
November 20, 2018 - Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic
November 20, 2018 - Live probiotics can change existing gut flora and alter immune response
November 20, 2018 - Researchers to explore the enigmatic role of unstructured protein in regulating circadian function
November 20, 2018 - Many patients with adenomas do not receive colonoscopy within recommended time frame
November 20, 2018 - Drug used to treat PTSD does not reduce suicidal thinking, may worsen nightmares and insomnia
November 20, 2018 - In-person social contact may offer protection against depression and PTSD symptoms
November 20, 2018 - Routine HCV testing in correctional facilities can best identify and treat disease, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Molecular DNA analysis could facilitate more accurate prognosis, treatment of aggressive brain tumors
November 20, 2018 - Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate Not Up With Autologous Fat Transfer
November 20, 2018 - Beta 2 Microglobulin (B2M) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 20, 2018 - Could bariatric surgery make men more virile?
November 20, 2018 - Urine test to check if patients take their medications will save the NHS money, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Study reveals impact of residual inflammatory risk on clinical outcomes after PCI
November 20, 2018 - RNAi therapy shown to alleviate preeclampsia
November 20, 2018 - Replacement of dysfunctional microglia has therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases
November 20, 2018 - Forming 3D Neuronal Models of the Brain
November 20, 2018 - Shoulder ultrasounds could be used to predict diabetes
November 20, 2018 - SGLT2 Inhibitors for Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk for Amputation
November 20, 2018 - Stem cell transplant cements Arizona men’s father-son bond
Influenza virus can evolve resistance to experimental antiviral drug

Influenza virus can evolve resistance to experimental antiviral drug

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The influenza virus can evolve resistance to an anti-flu drug currently in development for use in pandemics but only if there are multiple genetic mutations, a study has found.

Scientists at Imperial College London, in collaboration with Public Health England, have discovered that two genetic mutations would be needed for the virus to develop resistance to favipiravir, an experimental antiviral developed in Japan.

Favipiravir is not currently licensed in the UK for the treatment of flu but has shown to be effective in clinical trials to date and has the potential to be used in the event of a flu pandemic where other drugs, such as Tamiflu, might fail.

The researchers caution that the influenza virus has only so far been shown to develop resistance to the drug in laboratory studies, and it is unclear if the same would happen in a pandemic. However, their findings highlight a mechanism by which influenza and other viruses could potentially overcome such drugs used in the event of an outbreak and so should be closely monitored.

It was previously thought that the influenza virus was unable to overcome favipiravir, with laboratory, animal and clinical studies showing little evidence of resistance. However, the latest findings, published this week in the journal PNAS, are the first to show that influenza could develop resistance to the drug.

Professor Wendy Barclay, from the Department of Medicine and Action Medical Research Chair in Virology at Imperial, who led the research, said: “We’re alerting the world to the fact that RNA viruses, like influenza, can readily adapt to their environment and evolve, and that while favipiravir could be a potentially important drug in a pandemic situation, resistance can emerge.”

Favipiravir acts by targeting an enzyme called RNA polymerase used by influenza to copy its genetic material. Clinical trials have shown the drug to be effective in treating flu in humans and it has also been tested against other RNA viruses, like ebola and chikungunya, which rely on the same type of enzyme to replicate, showing promise in pre-clinical trials.

In the latest study, Professor Barclay and colleagues from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections at Imperial explored how influenza might potentially evolve to counter the drug.

When influenza was grown in the presence of favipiravir in cell cultures, the virus was able to evolve, uncovering a combination of two key mutations that enabled it to become resistant to the antiviral.

The first of the mutations caused a change in the RNA polymerase enzyme itself, blocking the drug’s effect, but it came at a cost for the virus and affected its ability to reproduce.

However, this loss of fitness was countered by the second mutation, which restored the virus’s ability to thrive and spread.

According to the researchers, it is unclear whether this combination of mutations could occur readily in viruses in the wild, but their findings are the first to show a clear genetic mechanism by which resistance to the drug could potentially come about in influenza strains around the world.

They add that while their work focused on flu, other research groups have reported the same mutation in chikungunya – another RNA virus which uses the same enzyme to replicate – suggesting that there may be a general mechanism by which other RNA viruses could become resistant to the drug.

“Favipiravir is still an important drug and should be in the pipeline to be used in the event we need it, but we now know that viruses can develop resistance to it,” explained Professor Barclay. “We need to look out for these mutations and monitor for them, particularly if we are using this drug in outbreak situations and in patients that might have prolonged disease, as those are conditions where you might see resistance emerging.”

Dr Maria Zambon, from Public Health England, said: “We have shown that resistance can emerge to this antiviral, which has not been shown previously and we need to factor this in to our pandemic preparedness. However, pandemic planning is multifaceted and includes vaccines, antivirals and good hygiene messaging.”

Professor Barclay added: “This research is a great illustration of the success of NIHR Health Protection Research Units. Not only do the findings contribute to the scientific knowledge base, they also make an important contribution to our public health knowledge about how we use these drugs and the importance of surveillance to spot the emergence of such mutations.”

Source:

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles