Antiviral-resistant H1N1 virus in Australia didn't spread far
An oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 virus that spread in one Australian community in 2011 apparently did not escape to a nearby large city, according to a report published in Eurosurveillance yesterday. Researchers previously reported the community spread of a resistant 2009 H1N1 virus in the Newcastle, Australia, area from June through August of 2011, the report notes. The authors of the new study looked for signs of the resistant strain in Sydney, the nearest major city to Newcastle, 120 kilometers away. They ran genetic assessments of H1N1 viruses from 143 patients who had not received oseltamivr and from 23 patients who had been treated with it. Only 2 (1.4%) of the 143 isolates from untreated patients carried the resistance mutation (H275Y in the neuraminidase), indicating a low prevalence of the resistant strain and "no convincing evidence" of its spread from the Newcastle area. The resistance mutation was found in 3 (13%) of the 23 samples from treated patients, a significantly higher proportion, which is consistent with previous findings that resistance usually emerges in response to drug selection pressure, the authors say. They add that their findings show continued genetic evolution and antigenic drift in 2009 H1N1 viruses in Australia.
Jul 5 Eurosurveillance report
Related May 7 CIDRAP News story
WHO confirms Indonesian girl's H5N1 death
The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed the H5N1 avian influenza death of an 8-year-old Indonesian girl, citing information from the country's health ministry. The girl from West Java province got sick on Jun 18, and then traveled to Singapore, where she was seen on Jun 20 by a doctor and treated for pharyngitis, the WHO said. When she returned to Jakarta on Jun 24 her symptoms worsened, and her family took her to a local hospital. Her condition continued to worsen despite treatment in an intensive care unit, and she died on Jul 3. Her H5N1 infection was confirmed by the health ministry's National Institute of Health Research and Development. An investigation revealed that she had had contact with poultry at a live market and had been present when a chicken was killed there, the WHO said. The girl's infection, first reported in the media yesterday, raised Indonesia's count of H5N1 infections to 190 and its death toll to 158. The girl's case raises the global H5N1 total to 607 cases, including 358 deaths.
Jul 6 WHO statement
WHO global H5N1 case count