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Research Publications

Prevalence of WHO transmitted drug resistance mutations by deep sequencing in antiretroviral-naïve subjects in Hunan Province, China.

Xiaobai Z1, Xi C1, Tian H2, Williams AB3, Wang H4, He J1, Zhen J1, Chiarella J5, Blake LA6, Turenchalk G6, Kozal MJ5.

BACKGROUND: There are few data on the prevalence of WHO transmitted drug resistance mutations (TDRs) that could affect treatment responses to first line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Hunan Province, China. OBJECTIVE: Determine the prevalence of WHO NRTI/NNRTI/PI TDRs in ART-naïve subjects in Hunan Province by deep sequencing. METHODS: ART-naïve subjects diagnosed in Hunan between 2010-2011 were evaluated by deep sequencing for low-frequency HIV variants possessing WHO TDRs to 1% levels. Mutations were scored using the HIVdb.stanford.edu algorithm to infer drug susceptibility. RESULTS: Deep sequencing was performed on samples from 90 ART-naïve subjects; 83.3% were AE subtype. All subjects had advanced disease (average CD4 count 134 cells/mm3). Overall 25.6%(23/90) of subjects had HIV with major WHO NRTI/NNRTI TDRs by deep sequencing at a variant frequency level = 1%; 16.7%(15/90) had NRTI TDR and 12.2%(11/90) had a major NNRTI TDR. The majority of NRTI/NNRTI mutations were identified at variant levels <5%. Mutations were analyzed by HIVdb.stanford.edu and 7.8% of subjects had variants with high-level nevirapine resistance; 4.4% had high-level NRTI resistance. Deep sequencing identified 24(27.6%) subjects with variants possessing either a PI TDR or hivdb.stanford.edu PI mutation (algorithm value = 15). 17(19.5%) had PI TDRs at levels >1%. CONCLUSIONS: ART-naïve subjects from Hunan Province China infected predominantly with subtype AE frequently possessed HIV variants with WHO NRTI/NNRTI TDRs by deep sequencing that would affect the first line ART used in the region. Specific mutations conferring nevirapine high-level resistance were identified in 7.8% of subjects. The majority of TDRs detected were at variant levels <5% likely due to subjects having advanced chronic disease at the time of testing. PI TDRs were identified frequently, but were found in isolation and at low variant frequency. As PI/r use is infrequent in Hunan, the existence of PI mutations likely represent AE subtype natural polymorphism at low variant level frequency.

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