Jan 29, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An early report on the seasonal influenza strains circulating in Europe reveals that some H1N1 viruses show signs of resistance to the antiviral drug oseltamivir, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported this week.Of 148 influenza influenza A H1N1 samples collected in November and December in 10 European countries, 19 tested positive for resistance to oseltamivir, the ECDC said in a Jan 27 press release. Twelve of the resistant virus isolates were from Norway; the rest included one from Denmark, four from France, and two from the United Kingdom.According to ECDC’s full interim report, the oseltamivir-resistant variant, H1N1 (H274Y), is a new development this winter. (H274Y is the term for a mutation associated with resistance to the drug.) The strain is sensitive to other antivirals, which include zanamivir, amantadine, and rimantadine.The overall proportion of the oseltamivir-resistant strain among European isolates is 13%, but if the Norwegian samples are excluded from the total, the proportion for Europe falls to 5%, the report said.Though the ECDC cautioned that the findings are preliminary, it said Norway is still seeing the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 this month and that the same mutation is being seen in other countries, including those in North America.”There are some indications that some of the same oseltamivir-resistant A H1N1 viruses are being observed at low levels in the United States,” the report said.Experts from the ECDC, the European Commission, and the World Health Organization (WHO) are assessing the significance of the findings and will release an interim joint assessment soon, based on the initial surveillance findings, the ECDC said.The WHO today held a virtual meeting of experts to discuss the findings. WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told CIDRAP News the group agreed that more studies are needed to answer the many questions raised by the ECDC’s initial report. For example, he said experts would like to determine why antiviral resistance rates in the study vary so widely between countries and why the resistant H1N1 strain surfaced so early in the flu season.The findings need to be fleshed out, and experts are just now looking at isolates collected in January, Hartl said. “Theses are small numbers, so this is a work in progress,” he commented.Joe Bresee, MD, chief of epidemiology and prevention for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) immunization services division, told CIDRAP News today that of 204 influenza samples tested by the CDC so far this season, six (2.9%) were resistant to oseltamivir. The resistant samples accounted for 5.5% of the 109 H1N1 viruses the CDC isolated, he said.”It’s interesting. Last year we wouldn’t have expected this level of resistance,” Bresee said. The CDC is continuing to monitor patterns with the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 variant, but he said the numbers were low enough that the agency is not changing its recommendations for the treatment of seasonal influenza.The CDC has urged clinicians to stop using amantadine or rimantadine to treat influenza because circulating influenza A strains have high rates of resistance to the two drugs.Martina Rupp, a spokeswoman for Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, said the preliminary results are a contrast to previous years, when experts found little or no oseltamivir resistance, according to a Bloomberg News report. She said more surveillance is needed to establish the prevalence and geographic distribution of the resistant H1N1 variants and to gauge the impact on the drug’s efficacy.Frederick Hayden, MD, an antiviral expert with the WHO, said the change in the virus’s resistance pattern warrants concern, the Canadian Press (CP) reported yesterday. “This is not only interesting, it’s unusual and would not have necessarily been predicted by the necessary information. So it’s certainly something we’re taking seriously and trying to gather additional information [on],” he said.Though the source of the H1N1 variant is not known, ECDC experts reported that they don’t believe its emergence is related to antiviral use in Europe, because the drugs are rarely used there. They wrote that the Norwegian patients who had the resistant strain had not taken antiviral medications.The ECDC report said it’s not clear if the variant virus will be overwhelmed by more fit and oseltamivir-susceptible viruses as the influenza season progresses. “Equally, however, the resistant virus could come to spread and predominate. We simply do not know at present,” the authors reported.Evidence on the effect of the resistance mutation on viral fitness is contradictory, they noted. Some studies have shown the mutation reduces the virus’s capacity to replicate and spread, while others have shown the variant’s fitness is similar to that of viruses lacking the mutation.”People who become ill with the oseltamivir-resistant strain of A(H1N1) do not appear to become any more sick than people infected with ‘normal’ seasonal influenza,” the ECDC said in its press release.In addition, the ECDC report stated, “It also needs to be remembered that antiviral resistant is a relative not absolute term. Patients ill with viruses that are deemed resistant in the laboratory often still seem to benefit when they take antivirals.”See also:Jan 24 CIDRAP News story “Older flu drugs still used, against CDC advice”
highlights South Africa and England have a 3-3 head-to-head record in World Cups.England won their last encounter in 2011 against South Africa in Chennai.Both England and South Africa have never won the ICC Cricket World Cup. In addition, the presence of Jofra Archer is the X-factor. Archer impressed with his pace and looked good in the games against Pakistan. England has only two things to worry about. One, their injury issues which were highlighted in the warm-up match against Australia. Second, the mindset heading into the big tournament. Ever since the 2015 tournament, England have an enviable record at home and that gives them plenty of confidence but on the big day, they could unwind as they found out against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.South Africa and the C-word1992, 1999, 2011 and 2015. The list of chokes and heartbreaks when it comes to the World Cup and South Africa is the stuff of nightmares. The last World Cup game for South Africa in England was against Australia in the semi-final in Edgbaston. The match witnessed a thrilling tie and Australia entered the final after Allan Donald was run-out. It has been 20 years, but the ghosts have still continued to haunt South Africa since that day.Like England, South Africa have underachieved perennially on the world stage. The 2019 edition gives them a perfect chance to exorcise the ghosts of 1999 and finally break their tag of ‘chokers’. Hashim Amla has been in good form in the World Cup warm-up games while Faf du Plessis is the key in their batting. Andile Phehlukwayo is a great utility all-rounder while the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir are world-class bowlers. Rabada’s return from a back injury is welcome news. However, Dale Steyn will miss out due to a shoulder injury but the Proteas have a steady bowling and batting combination puts them in a great position to get their campaign off to a winning start.Team combinationsIn the India vs New Zealand game at The Oval, under overcast conditions and with a green wicket, India was found wanting. The pitch is expected to be on similar lines but if the sun comes out, the wicket will flatten out and a total in excess of 350 could be possible.England (Playing XI): Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Liam PlunkettSouth Africa (Playing XI): Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram, JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran TahirWho will win?Both teams have plenty of firepower but with the kind of form England have shown, they are the favourites heading into the clash against South Africa but they will be wary of taking the Proteas lightlyWeather and pitchConditions are expected to be overcast in London and that might give the bowlers some purchase. However, looking at the nature of wickets in England, overcast conditions might only give the bowlers token assistance.StatisticsIn six World Cup encounters between the two sides since 1992, both teams are tied 3-3. England won both the encounters in 1992 while South Africa won three consecutive games in 1996, 1999 and 2007. In 2011, England won a low-scoring tie at Chennai.Stadium and timingsThe match will be played at The Oval and the match will begin at 3:00 PM IST. For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: After 20 years, the World Cup finally returns to the designated ‘Home of Cricket’. The second decade of the 21st century has seen the trend of home domination when it comes to the quadrennial event. In 2011, India won it in front of their home fans by beating neighbours Sri Lanka in a pulsating game in Mumbai. In 2015, Australia got the better of their Trans-Tasman rival New Zealand in a lop-sided final in Melbourne. In 2019, England, the New England are serious contenders for the title. Their quest to shatter their perennial underachievement in world events begins against a team that has underachieved even more on the world stage.For England and their fans, the 2019 World Cup is a chance of what four years of planning have achieved ever since their exit in the league stage of the 2015 World Cup. Following their poor show, there was a total revamp in the side. Power-hitters and consistency have been the hallmark of their batting, with the side notching up the most 300+ totals in the four years than any other country. Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes form the core of a formidable top order that can blast away any bowling attack. Joe Root is the anchor of the middle order while Eoin Morgan’s inspiration captaincy will be the key. The likes of Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett form a formidable bowling line-up.