alexa Low-abundance drug-resistant viral variants in chronically HIV-infected, antiretroviral treatment-naive patients significantly impact treatment outcomes.
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

Author(s): Simen BB, Simons JF, Hullsiek KH, Novak RM, Macarthur RD,

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Minor (i.e., <20\% prevalence) drug-resistant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) variants may go undetected, yet be clinically important. OBJECTIVES: To compare the prevalence of drug-resistant variants detected with standard and ultra-deep sequencing (detection down to 1\% prevalence) and to determine the impact of minor resistant variants on virologic failure (VF). METHODS: The Flexible Initial Retrovirus Suppressive Therapies (FIRST) Study (N = 1397) compared 3 initial antiretroviral therapy (ART) strategies. A random subset (n = 491) had baseline testing for drug-resistance mutations performed by use of standard sequencing methods. Ultra-deep sequencing was performed on samples that had sufficient viral content (N = 264). Proportional hazards models were used to compare rates of VF for those who did and did not have mutations identified. RESULTS: Mutations were detected by standard and ultra-deep sequencing (in 14\% and 28\% of participants, respectively; P < .001). Among individuals who initiated treatment with an ART regimen that combined nucleoside and nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (hereafter, "NNRTI strategy"), all individuals who had an NNRTI-resistance mutation identified by ultra-deep sequencing experienced VF. When these individuals were compared with individuals who initiated treatment with the NNRTI strategy but who had no NNRTI-resistance mutations, the risk of VF was higher for those who had an NNRTI-resistance mutation detected by both methods (hazard ratio [HR], 12.40 [95\% confidence interval {CI}, 3.41-45.10]) and those who had mutation(s) detected only with ultra-deep sequencing (HR, 2.50 [95\% CI, 1.17-5.36]). CONCLUSIONS: Ultra-deep sequencing identified a significantly larger proportion of HIV-infected, treatment-naive persons as harboring drug-resistant viral variants. Among participants who initiated treatment with the NNRTI strategy, the risk of VF was significantly greater for participants who had low- and high-prevalence NNRTI-resistant variants. This article was published in J Infect Dis and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

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