Oseltamivir and zanamivir are two neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) active on A and B influenza viruses. These analogues have been developed from the structure of sialic acid, the neuraminidase (NA) substrate. Resistance to NAIs have been detected. They are mainly associated to mutations located on the NA gene. The use of these antiviral drugs remains low in the context of seasonal flu, even the duration of symptoms can be reduced of one day if an antiviral treatment is started within 48 hours after disease onset. NAIs also present a significant effect when used in postexposition prophylaxis. Resistance, mainly to oseltamivir, have been detected but remained rare until the spontaneous emergence in 2007-2008 winter of a seasonal A(H1N1) variant resistant to this drug. NAIs are also interesting for the treatment of severe flu infections, specially those associated to A(H5N1). Finally, because of the pandemic A(H1N1)2009 virus, NAIs use has largely increased for prophylactic and therapeutic treatment of severe and non severe infections. This large use may be associated to an increased risk of selection of resistant viruses. Up to now, this phenomenon remains fortunately limited but has to be closely monitored.
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