Virological failure on a boosted-protease inhibitor (PI/r) first-line triple combination is usually not associated with the detection of resistance mutations in the protease gene. Thus, other resistance pathways are being investigated. First-line PI/r monotherapy is the best model to investigate in vivo if the presence of mutations in the cleavage sites (CS) of gag gene prior to any antiretroviral treatment might influence PI/r efficacy. 83 patients were assigned to initiate antiretroviral treatment with first-line lopinavir/r monotherapy in the randomised Monark trial. We compared baseline sequence of gag CS between patients harbouring B or non-B HIV-1 subtype, and between those who achieved viral suppression and those who experienced virological failure while on LPV/r monotherapy up to Week 96. Baseline sequence of gag CS was available for 82/83 isolates; 81/82 carried at least one substitution in gag CS compared to HXB2 sequence. At baseline, non-B subtype isolates were significantly more likely to harbour mutations in gag CS than B subtype isolates (p<0.0001). Twenty-three patients experienced virological failure while on lopinavir/r monotherapy. The presence of more than two substitutions in p2/NC site at baseline significantly predicted virological failure (p = 0.0479), non-B subtype isolates being more likely to harbour more than two substitutions in this specific site. In conclusion, gag cleavage site was highly polymorphic in antiretroviral-naive patients harbouring a non-B HIV-1 strain. We show that pre-therapy mutations in gag cleavage site sequence were significantly associated with the virological outcome of a first-line LPV/r single drug regimen in the Monark trial. © 2011 Ghosn et al.
J., G., C., D., P., F., J., G., I., C.-C., F., R., … M.-L., C. (2011). Polymorphism in gag gene cleavage sites of HIV-1 non-B subtype and virological outcome of a first-line lopinavir/ritonavir single drug regimen. PLoS ONE. J. Ghosn, Paris Descartes University, EA 3620, Necker University Hospital, Paris, France. E-mail: email@example.com: Public Library of Science (185 Berry Street, Suite 1300, San Francisco CA 94107, United States). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObjectAttachment.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0024798&representation=PDF