Drug resistance and coreceptor usage in HIV type 1 subtype C-infected children initiating or failing highly active antiretroviral therapy in South Africa

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Apr;28(4):324-32. doi: 10.1089/aid.2011.0106. Epub 2011 Aug 5.


HIV-1 drug resistance monitoring in resource-poor settings is crucial due to limited drug alternatives. Recent reports of the increased prevalence of CXCR4 usage in subtype C infections may have implications for CCR5 antagonists in therapy. We investigated the prevalence of drug resistance mutations and CXCR4 coreceptor utilization of viruses from HIV-1 subtype C-infected children. Fifty-one children with virological failure during highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and 43 HAART-naive children were recruited. Drug resistance genotyping and coreceptor utilization assessment by phenotypic and genotypic methods were performed. At least one significant drug resistance mutation was present in 85.4% of HAART-failing children. Thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs) were detected in 58.5% of HAART-failing children and 39.0% had ≥3 TAMs. CXCR4 (X4) or dual (R5X4)/mixed (R5, X4) (D/M)-tropic viruses were found in 54.3% of HAART-failing and 9.4% of HAART-naive children (p<0.0001); however, the HAART-failing children were significantly older (p<0.0001). In multivariate logistic regression, significant predictors of CXCR4 usage included antiretroviral treatment, older age, and lower percent CD4(+) T cell counts. The majority of genotypic prediction tools had low sensitivity (≤65.0%) and high specificity (≥87.5%) for predicting CXCR4 usage. Extensive drug resistance, including the high percentage of TAMs found, may compromise future drug choices for children, highlighting the need for improved treatment monitoring and adherence counseling. Additionally, the increased prevalence of X4/D/M viruses in HAART-failing children suggests limited use of CCR5 antagonists in salvage therapy. Enhanced genotypic prediction tools are needed as current tools are not sensitive enough for predicting CXCR4 usage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • CCR5 Receptor Antagonists
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclohexanes / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / genetics*
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / drug therapy*
  • HIV Seropositivity / genetics
  • HIV Seropositivity / virology
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Maraviroc
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Phylogeny
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / isolation & purification
  • Receptors, HIV / drug effects*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Treatment Failure
  • Triazoles / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • CCR5 Receptor Antagonists
  • Cyclohexanes
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Receptors, HIV
  • Triazoles
  • Maraviroc