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ObjectivesTo determine the impact of pretreatment low-abundance HIV-1 drug-resistant variants (LA-DRVs) on virological failure (VF) among HIV-1/TB-co-infected individuals treated with NNRTI first-line ART.MethodsWe conducted a case-control study of 170 adults with HIV-1/TB co-infection. Cases had at least one viral load (VL) ≥1000 RNA copies/mL after ≥6 months on NNRTI-based ART, and controls had sustained VLs <1000 copies/mL. We sequenced plasma viruses by Sanger and MiSeq next-generation sequencing (NGS). We assessed drug resistance mutations (DRMs) using the Stanford drug resistance database, and analysed NGS data for DRMs at ≥20%, 10%, 5% and 2% thresholds. We assessed the effect of pretreatment drug resistance (PDR) on VF.ResultsWe analysed sequences from 45 cases and 125 controls. Overall prevalence of PDR detected at a ≥20% threshold was 4.7% (8/170) and was higher in cases than in controls (8.9% versus 3.2%), P = 0.210. Participants with PDR at ≥20% had almost 4-fold higher odds of VF (adjusted OR 3.7, 95% CI 0.8-18.3) compared with those without, P = 0.104. PDR prevalence increased to 18.2% (31/170) when LA-DRVs at ≥2% were included. Participants with pretreatment LA-DRVs only had 1.6-fold higher odds of VF (adjusted OR 1.6, 95% CI 0.6-4.3) compared with those without, P = 0.398.ConclusionsPretreatment DRMs and LA-DRVs increased the odds of developing VF on NNRTI-based ART, although without statistical significance. NGS increased detection of DRMs but provided no additional benefit in identifying participants at risk of VF at lower thresholds. More studies assessing mutation thresholds predictive of VF are required to inform use of NGS in treatment decisions.

Original publication





The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy

Publication Date





3319 - 3326


KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, Durban, South Africa.


Humans, HIV-1, HIV Infections, Pharmaceutical Preparations, Anti-HIV Agents, Treatment Failure, Viral Load, Case-Control Studies, Drug Resistance, Viral, Mutation, Adult, Coinfection