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expert reaction to the news of a possible strain of Tamiflu-resistant swine flu in Wales

The Tamiflu-resistant strain was found to have emerged within a group of hospital patients in Cardiff, all of whom had underlying health problems and reduced immunity.

Prof Peter Openshaw, Respiratory Physician, Imperial College London, said:

“It’s not surprising that this has happened, indeed it has always been anticipated. The situation in Wales is to do with infection amongst immunosuppressed patients who are always more likely to develop resistance. The important thing now is to emphasise the value of vaccination. Just because there is resistance to Tamiflu does not mean there is resistance to Relenza/Zanamivir.”

Dr John McCauley, Division of Virology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, said:

“The resistance in Wales is in patients who are an at-risk group. It is well established that patients with immunodeficiency do have problems with eliminating virus, giving it a greater chance to acquire resistance. Full genetic sequencing may be able to discover more detail.”

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