Background: Fixed-dose combination antiretroviral therapy administered as a single-tablet regimen (STR) may improve virologic suppression rates. The effect of STRs on development of resistance when virologic failure occurs on STRs is not known.
Objectives: To compare the rate of emergent drug resistance mutations (DRMs) on first-line therapy with coformulated tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)/emtricitabine (FTC)/efavirenz (EFV) as an STR versus TDF, lamivudine (3TC) or FTC, and EFV given as non-STR.
Methods: Patients from eight cohorts and four randomized clinical trials who received first-line antiretroviral therapy with Atripla (STR group) or with TDF + FTC/3TC + EFV (non-STR group) were eligible if a genotypic resistance test was available immediately after the first episode of viral failure. The DRM list from the 2013 version of IAS-USA was used.
Results: One hundred and eighty-six patients were included in the final analysis, 122 (65.6%) from eight cohorts and 64 (34.1%) from four randomized clinical trials. The overall proportion of patients with at least one DRM at viral failure was 67.7%, including 53.4% (31 of 58) in the STR group vs. 74.2% (95 of 128) in the non-STR group (P = 0.005). Among patients exclusively from cohorts, at least one DRM was detected in 53.4% (31 of 58) in the STR group vs. 78.1% (50 of 64) in the non-STR group (P = 0.004). DRMs for individual drugs were: TDF, 15.5 vs. 16.4% (P = 0.87); 3TC/FTC, 31 vs. 35.2% (P = 0.58); and NNRTI, 51.7 vs. 65.6% (P = 0.07). The proportion of patients with an M184V/I among the 128 patients who received FTC was 32.8 vs. 36.2% among the 58 treated with 3TC (P = 0.65).
Conclusions: Compared to patients receiving the STR-Atripla, those receiving the same components individually in a non-STR regimen have a statistically significantly increased risk of selecting for DRMs associated with their drugs on failure.