One of the two available medicines for bird flu in the country may soon be redundant. The virus that caused the outbreak in certain pockets of West Bengal last year has been found to be resistant to Amantadine.
Amantadine and Tamiflu are the two drugs available in India to treat humans who contract bird flu.
If the avian influenza virus, H5N1, grows entirely resistant to Amantadine, another drug will have to be developed soon, which is an expensive and time-consuming proposition.
The detection was made recently at the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal.
Joint director in-charge of HSADL, Dr SC Dubey told HT: “We tested virus samples and found genomic alterations in about ten batches. They show resistance to the drug. This is a first for the country.”
Amantadine resistance has been detected in China, Vietnam and Thailand. The scientists are however, relieved the Amantadine resistant virus batches are still resistant to Tamiflu.