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Abstract

Due to the influenza pandemic threat, many countries are stockpiling antivirals in the hope of limiting the impact of a future pandemic virus. Since resistance to antiviral drugs would probably significantly alter the effectiveness of antivirals, surveillance programmes to monitor the emergence of resistance are of considerable importance. During the 2006/2007 influenza season, an inventory was conducted by the European Surveillance Network for Vigilance against Viral Resistance (VIRGIL) in collaboration with the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS) to evaluate antiviral susceptibility testing by the National Influenza Reference Laboratories (NIRL) in relation to the national antiviral stockpile in 30 European countries that are members of EISS. All countries except Ukraine had a stockpile of the neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) oseltamivir. Additionally, four countries had a stockpile of the NAI zanamivir and three of the M2 ion channel inhibitor rimantadine. Of 29 countries with a NAI stockpile, six countries'; NIRLs could determine virus susceptibility by 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) and in 13 countries it could be done by sequencing. Only in one of the three countries with a rimantadine stockpile could the NIRL determine virus susceptibility, by sequencing only. However, including the 18 countries that had plans to introduce or extend antiviral susceptibility testing, the NIRLs of 21 of the 29 countries with a stockpile would be capable of susceptibility testing appropriate to the stockpiled drug by the end of the 2007/2008 influenza season. Although most European countries in this study have stockpiles of influenza antivirals, susceptibility surveillance capability by the NIRLs appropriate to the stockpiled antivirals is limited.

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/content/10.2807/esm.12.04.00698-en
2007-04-01
2017-11-24
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/esm.12.04.00698-en
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