University of Wisconsin-MadisonThis news may deliver certain insights about avian influenza virus. A study headed by a University of Wisconsin-Madison virologist claims that a new compound could be extremely effectual against the pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, counting a few drug-resistant strains.

The study appears to propose that the compound CS-8958 may be a capable substitute antiviral for prevention and treatment of bird flu.

Antiviral drugs are claimed to be a vital countermeasure against human influenza viruses, as well as the extremely pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, which seems to cause bird flu. Upcoming strains resistant to present drugs, predominantly oseltamivir (Tamiflu), appear to be a threat and make the progress of alternate antivirals an imperative public health issue. This was mentioned by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a professor of pathobiological sciences at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and senior author of the new study.

Kawaoka and a group of study authors from Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia apparently examined a new neuraminidase inhibitor R-125489 and its prodrug CS-8958, which had formerly exhibited powerful activity against seasonal influenza viruses in laboratory animals.

While working with mice, the experts apparently discovered that a single intranasal dose of CS-8958 given two hours following infection with H5N1 influenza virus supposedly led to elevated survival rate and lower virus levels as compared to a usual five-day course of oseltamivir. CS-8958 was also believed to be effectual against extremely pathogenic and oseltamivir-resistant strains of H5N1 virus.

Apart from its therapeutic use, CS-8958 also apparently shielded mice against deadly H5N1 infection when given seven days prior to infection with the virus.

Kawaoka commented, “This compound requires only a single administration for both treatment and prophylaxis. Such prophylaxis would be highly desirable for seasonal influenza as well as a potential pandemic situation. CS-8958 is highly effective for the treatment and prophylaxis of infection with H5N1 influenza viruses, including oseltamivir-resistant mutants.”

To verify the relevance of the discoveries to humans, follow-up studies could be required.

The study was published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens.