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Oseltamivir-resistant pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in a severely ill patient: the first Australian case

David J Speers, Simon H Williams, Mary Pinder, Harry R Moody, Aeron C Hurt and David W Smith
Med J Aust 2010; 192 (3): 166-168.
Published online: 1 February 2010

After a 10-day course of oral oseltamivir for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza infection, a renal transplant recipient developed rapid-onset severe primary viral pneumonia due to oseltamivir-resistant virus. Respiratory failure progressed despite high-dose oral oseltamivir, nebulised zanamivir and cessation of immunosuppressive medications, but his condition improved with intravenous zanamivir. He subsequently died of non-respiratory complications. This is the first case of oseltamivir-resistant pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in Australia and the first report of resistance in a solid organ transplant recipient. (MJA 2010; 192: 166-168)

A 38-year-old cadaveric renal transplant recipient had remained well on a standard immunosuppressive regimen until he presented 7 weeks after transplantation with coryzal symptoms and fever. Nose and throat swabs were collected for influenza testing, and he was empirically commenced on oral oseltamivir at the recommended dose of 75 mg twice a day,1,2 to be taken at home. The swabs were subsequently confirmed as positive for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza (Box), and he continued taking oseltamivir for 10 days, with clinical improvement.

  • David J Speers1,2
  • Simon H Williams1
  • Mary Pinder2
  • Harry R Moody2
  • Aeron C Hurt3
  • David W Smith1,4

  • 1 Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, WA.
  • 3 WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 4 School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences and School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.


Acknowledgements: 

We wish to acknowledge Ms Glenys Chidlow for her help in developing the methods for oseltamivir-resistance molecular testing, Yi Deng for performing the pyrosequencing, and Ms Kerry Benson for assisting with collecting patient information.

Competing interests:

David Smith sits on two advisory committees that receive sponsorship from Roche Pharmaceuticals.

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