The Prevalence of Transmitted Drug Resistance in Newly Diagnosed HIV-infected Individuals in Croatia: The Role of Transmission Clusters of Men Who Have Sex With Men Carrying the T215S Surveillance Drug Resistance Mutation

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2013 Feb;29(2):329-36. doi: 10.1089/aid.2012.0191. Epub 2012 Oct 4.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) in newly diagnosed and treatment-naive HIV-infected patients from Croatia and evaluate a possible contribution of transmission clusters to the spread of resistant virus. The study enrolled treatment-naive HIV-infected patients that entered clinical care at the Croatian Reference Center for HIV/AIDS between 2006 and 2008. The protease gene and a part of the reverse transcriptase gene of the HIV-1 genome were sequenced by using the Trugene HIV-1 Genotyping System. The prevalence of transmitted drug resistance was analyzed by using the surveillance drug resistance mutations (SDRM) list recommended by the WHO in 2009. We report findings for 118 of 180 eligible patients (65.6% coverage). SDRM were detected in 26 of 118 patients (22.0%) who were infected with subtype B and belonged mostly to the men having sex with men (MSM). The majority of patients with primary resistance carried SDRM associated with resistance to nucleoside analogues reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs, 23 of 118 patients, 19.5%). The most frequently found NRTI SDRM was T215S (17 of 118 patients, 14.4%). SDRM associated with resistance to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were detected in three (2.5%) patients and primary resistance to protease inhibitors was not detected. Non-B subtypes were detected in 13/118 patients (11%). A total of 12 transmission pairs and eight distinct transmission clusters were identified with the largest cluster harboring sequences from 19 patients; among them all but two were carrying the T215S mutation. This study showed a high prevalence of TDR in newly diagnosed MSM from Croatia and is an important contribution concerning the relationship between local transmission clusters and the spread of resistant virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Drug Resistance, Viral*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • HIV Protease / genetics
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / genetics
  • HIV-1 / classification
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Prevalence
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • reverse transcriptase, Human immunodeficiency virus 1
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase
  • HIV Protease