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Original article

Resistance to tenofovir-based regimens during treatment failure of subtype C HIV-1 in South Africa

Christopher J Hoffmann, Johanna Ledwaba, Jin-fen Li, Victoria Johnston, Gillian Hunt, Katherine L Fielding, Richard E Chaisson, Gavin J Churchyard, Alison D Grant, Jeffrey A Johnson, Salome Charalambous, Lynn Morris

Corresponding author name: Christopher J Hoffmann
Corresponding author e-mail: choffmann@jhmi.edu

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2013; 18:915-920
doi: 10.3851/IMP2652

Date accepted: 18 May 2013
Date published online: 10 June 2013


Background: Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is increasingly available for patients infected with subtype C HIV-1. This subtype is reported to develop the principal TDF resistance mutation in the HIV reverse transcriptase, K65R, with greater propensity than other subtypes. We sought to describe K65R development during TDF use in a cohort of patients infected with subtype C HIV.

Methods: Using a prospectively followed cohort with 6 monthly HIV RNA assays, we identified virological failure (defined as an HIV RNA>1,000 copies/ml) during treatment that included TDF. Residual serum, stored at the time of the HIV RNA assay, was used for consensus sequencing and allele-specific PCR. We assessed prevalence of resistance at failure during TDF-containing treatment and associated factors.

Results: Among 1,682 patients on a TDF-containing regimen, 270 developed failure of which 40 were assessed for resistance. By sequencing, the K65R was identified in 5 (12%), major non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor mutations in 24 (57%) and the M184V/I in 12 (28%) patients. The K65R was associated with lower HIV RNA at failure (HIV RNA 3.3 versus 4.2 log10 copies/ml) and prior stavudine exposure. An additional five patients had minority K65R populations identified by allele-specific PCR.

Conclusions: These data suggest that the K65R prevalence at virological failure is moderately higher in our subtype C population than some non-subtype C HIV cohorts. However, we did not find that the K65R was highly selected in HIV-1 subtype-C-infected patients with up to 6 months of failure of a TDF-containing regimen.


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