Lower clinical effectiveness of oseltamivir against influenza B contrasted with influenza A infection in children.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Recently, many Japanese physicians have claimed that oseltamivir is less effective in children with influenza B virus infection. This study assesses the effectiveness of oseltamivir against influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B in children on the basis of the duration of febrile illness. METHODS We used oseltamivir to treat 127 children with influenza A (H3N2; mean age, 6.97 years [range, 1-15 years]) and 362 children with influenza B (mean age, 5.16 years [range, 1-15 years]) in outpatient clinics. The duration of fever after the start of oseltamivir therapy was compared in the influenza A group and the influenza B group. RESULTS The mean duration of fever after the start of oseltamivir therapy was significantly greater in the influenza B group than in the influenza A (H3N2) group (2.18 days vs. 1.31 days, respectively; P<.001). The difference was marked in young children (1-5 years old; 2.37 days for the influenza B group vs. 1.42 days for the influenza A group) but was not significant among older children (11-15 years old). The 50% inhibitory concentration of oseltamivir against influenza B virus was 75.4+/-41.7 nmol/L and was substantially higher than that for type A (H3N2) virus (0.3+/-0.1 nmol/L). Only 3 (1.6%) of 192 influenza B viruses were resistant to oseltamivir. CONCLUSIONS Oseltamivir is much less effective against influenza B virus infection in young children, probably because of the low sensitivity of influenza B viruses to oseltamivir. The effectiveness of oseltamivir against influenza B is influenced by age and host immunity. A few oseltamivir-resistant influenza B strains were isolated before the start of oseltamivir therapy.

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@article{Sugaya2007LowerCE, title={Lower clinical effectiveness of oseltamivir against influenza B contrasted with influenza A infection in children.}, author={Norio Sugaya and Keiko Mitamura and Masahiko Yamazaki and Daisuke Tamura and Masataka Ichikawa and Kazuhiro Kimura and Chiharu Kawakami and Maki Kiso and Mutsumi Ito and Shuji Hatakeyama and Yoshihiro Kawaoka}, journal={Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America}, year={2007}, volume={44 2}, pages={197-202} }