Thursday, January 11, 2007
Martin Enserink, ScienceNOW Daily News reported yesterday on the conceivable hazards of "pandemic Tamiflu use," which might create antiviral resistance or other unknown hazards. We don't know how quickly Tamiflu will break down in the environment, but it may be very persistent. Singer, et al built a model to predict likely concentrations in rivers. While the levels vary widely by river basin, the model predicted levels that could trigger resistance in influenza-infected birds, leading to a second wave pandemic from a slightly different pandemic strain. In addition, it could inhibit enzymes in other species, causing broader, more difficult to predict, ecological effects.