Purpose of review: Deep sequencing of the V3 region of the HIV envelope gene can detect minority non-R5 variants in patients with high sensitivity and specificity. As next-generation sequencing approaches have matured, the clinical utility of deep sequencing for HIV tropism has entered the clinic. Accurate and sensitive tropism testing is essential for successful treatment with the CCR5 antagonist class of antiretrovirals.
Recent findings: This review will focus on five aspects of next-generation sequencing for assessing HIV tropism: some background on the necessity of deep sequencing versus other tropism methods; the methodological process of 454 sequencing and analysis; other next-generation sequencing technologies; the diagnostic performance of deep sequencing relative to other tropism assays; and the use of deep sequencing in clinical practice.
Summary: This method has emerged quickly as both a research and clinical tool because of its high concordance with commonly used phenotypic tropism assays and its ability to predict virological response to CCR5 antagonist-containing regimens.