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Clonal resistance analyses of HIV type-1 after failure of therapy with didanosine, lamivudine and tenofovir

Douglas Barnas, Dianna Koontz, Holly Bazmi, Christian Bixby, Joseph Jemsek, John W Mellors

Corresponding author name: John W Mellors
Corresponding author e-mail: mellors@dom.pitt.edu

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2010; 15:437-441
doi: 10.3851/IMP1539

Date accepted: 04 December 2009
Date published online: 26 May 2010


Background: The rapid failure of initial therapy with combinations of nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) that exclude zidovudine has not been fully explained by standard virus population analyses of HIV type-1 (HIV-1) drug resistance. We therefore investigated HIV-1 genotype and phenotype at the single genome level in samples from patients on a failing regimen of tenofovir (TNV), didanosine (ddI) and lamivudine (3TC).

Methods: Single genome sequencing was performed on 9 failure samples containing both K65R and M184V mutations by standard genotype, either as wild-type/mutant mixtures (6/9) or as mutant only (3/9). Recombinant clones with different combinations of observed mutations were generated and tested for NRTI susceptibility.

Results: Of the 204 single genome sequences analysed, 50% were K65R/M184V double mutants, 38% were M184V single mutants, 10% were M184I single mutants and only 1% (2 sequences) were K65R single mutants. Phenotypic testing of recombinant clones showed a significant increase in resistance for double mutants: mean fold resistance to abacavir, ddI and TNV was 6.5, 4.3 and 1.6 for K65R/M184V double mutants versus 2.5, 1.9 and 0.6 for M184V single mutants, respectively (P<0.001).

Conclusions: Mutants with K65R and M184V linked on the same genome were the most common HIV-1 variants in samples analysed from patients failing TNV, ddI and 3TC with both mutations detected by standard genotype. The double mutant exhibited reduced susceptibility to all three NRTIs in the regimen. This resistant phenotype, resulting from just two linked point mutations, likely contributes to rapid failure of NRTI combinations that exclude zidovudine.


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