Irina Leneva

Irina Leneva

Mechnikov Research Institute of Vaccines and Sera, Moscow, Russia

Title: Impact of umifenovir use on the reduction secondary bacterial pneumonia following influenza


Irina Leneva has completed her PhD at the age of 28 years from Research Institute for Viral Preparations ( Moscow, Russia) and postdoctoral studies from Centre of Chemistry of Drugs ( Moscow, Russia). She is the Head of Experimental Virology Laboratory of I.Mechnikov Institute for Vaccines and Sera. Irina Leneva has nearly 50 publications in reviewed journals. She is the virology scientific councilor for the Russian Society for Infection Diseases. Additionally, she is reviewer for several scientific journals in the areas of virology. Her current research focuses on pathogenesis of viral respiratory diseases, mainly , vaccine and antiviral development against biological threat agents and emerging pathogens, clinical trials of antivirals and vaccines, monitoring resistance to antivirals. Irina Leneva is also interested in developing novel assys and animal models for testing new drugs targeting respiratoty viruses.


Pneumonia often occurs secondary to influenza infection and accounts for a large proportion of the morbidity and mortality associated with seasonal and pandemic influenza outbreaks. The antiviral drug umifenovir (Arbidol) is licenced in Russia for treatment and propylaxis of acute respiratory infection including influenza A and B infection.. In the present study, we investigated the efficacy of umifenovir or oseltamivir in a mouse model of secondary S. aureus pneumonia following A/California/04/2009 (H1N1) influenza virus infection. We also performed a clinical study on the effectiveness of umifenovir in reducing flu-associated pneumonia. Experiments in mice showed that oral treatment with oseltamivir (20 mg/kg/day) and umifenovir (40 and 60 mg/kg/day ) improved survival in mice from 0% to 90%, significantly prolonged survival and abolished weight loss. The treatments also inhibited virus titer by ≥2 logs and viable bacterial counts in the lungs of mice. The lungs of mice treated with oseltamivir or umifenovir showed less-severe histopathologic findings compared to the control group. The observation case-control clinical study was set up in season 2010/2011 and 2014/2015 and included 5287 patients admitted to 88 hospitals with acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) from 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The analysis showed that in high-risk groups of patients the incidence of bacterial complications (pneumonia) was higher than the average for the study population. Our observational studies suggest the benefit of early umifenovir treatment (i.e. within 48 hours after illness onset) in reducing pneumonia incidence in high-risk .