Genotypic resistance and HIV-1 subtype in Brazilian children on dual and triple combination therapy.J Clin Virol. 2004 May; 30(1):24-31.JC
Antiretroviral therapy is provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Health to eligible HIV-infected individuals. Based on clinical and immunological classification, the Brazilian guidelines recommend dual or triple therapy for children. However, the development of drug-resistant strains or poor adherence to therapy could impact the efficacy of this approach.
We examined relationships between RNA levels, CD4+ T-cell counts, treatment history, and the prevalence of drug-resistant variants in a cohort of HIV-1-infected children in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Direct sequencing of reverse transcriptase and protease genes from plasma was performed. Virologic and CD4+ T-cell counts responses to therapy were assessed by changes in HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4+ T-cell counts from baseline.
Thirty-seven patients were receiving dual therapy and 38 were on triple therapy at enrollment, segregated by antiretroviral history. Both groups had a higher increase in CD4+ T cell counts and a lower viral load in pre-treatment antiretroviral-naïve subjects. Notably, there was a direct correlation between the higher frequencies of drug-resistance mutations and cross-resistance with previous usage of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in both groups. Non-B subtypes isolates were found in 21.3% of samples. A smaller increase in CD4+ T cell counts was found between non-B subtypes when compared to B-subtypes.
These results suggest that less immunological recovery and a higher number of mutations related to drug resistance were associated with previous usage of ARV and consequent higher time under drug selective pressure in these HIV-infected Brazilian children. These facts suggest the preferential use of triple drug combination as first line regimen in children.