There are conflicting data on the impact of low frequency HIV-1 drug-resistant mutants on the response of first-line highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), more specifically containing a NNRTI. As population sequencing does not detect resistant viruses representing less than 15-25% of the viral population, more sensitive techniques have been developed but still need clinical validation. We evaluated ultra-deep sequencing (UDPS), recently more available and affordable, as a tool for the detection of HIV-1 minority species carrying drug resistant mutation (DRM) in a clinical setting. A retrospective analysis of the reverse transcriptase (RT) gene of plasma HIV-1 from 70 patients starting a NNRTI based regimen was performed. Minority populations were defined as representing > 1% and < 20% of the total viral population. Using UDPS, we could not confirm an association between the presence of low minority variants harbouring RT mutations at the start of therapy and primary or secondary therapeutic failure. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Messiaen, P., Verhofstede, C., Vandenbroucke, I., Dinakis, S., Van Eygen, V., Thys, K., … Vandekerckhove, L. (2012). Ultra-deep sequencing of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase before start of an NNRTI-based regimen in treatment-naive patients. Virology, 426(1), 7–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2012.01.002