Clade homogeneity and Pol gene polymorphisms in chronically HIV-1 infected antiretroviral treatment naive patients after the roll out of ART in Ethiopia
- Equal contributors
1 Institute of Virology, Leipzig University Leipzig, Germany
2 Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar Gondar, Ethiopia
BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:158 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-158Published: 22 March 2014
Despite the increasing use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) recent data on frequency and pattern of drug resistance mutations in Ethiopia is not available. Furthermore with increasing mobility of people HIV-1 subtypes other than the predominant subtype C may likely be introduced from the neighbouring countries. This study was aimed to determine the molecular characterization and pre-antiretroviral treatment resistance mutations among HIV-1 chronically infected ART naïve patients after the roll out of ART in Ethiopia.
Viral RNA was determined in 160 baseline plasma samples. The entire PR and the first 335 codons (76%) of the RT regions of the pol gene of the HIV-1 genome (N = 160) were amplified and sequenced using an in-house assay. Genotypic drug resistance was defined as the presence of one or more resistance-related mutations as specified by the consensus mutation of Stanford University HIVDB and the International Antiviral Society (IAS) mutation lists.
A predominance of HIV-1 subtype C (98.7%) was observed. The level of drug resistance is found to be 5.6% and 13.1% according to the Stanford University HIVDB drug resistance interpretation algorithms and the International Antiviral Society mutation lists, respectively. Mutations conferring simultaneous resistance to NRTIs and NNRTIs were not detected and no major PR mutation was found. However, a high rate of polymorphic changes both in PR and RT regions were observed. Moreover, twenty four (15%) monophyletic transmission clusters with bootstrap value of 99% were found.
Strong evidence for consistent HIV-1C clade homogeneity and low influx of other variant into the country was found. The level of drug resistance observed in chronically infected treatment naïve patients which exceeds the WHO estimates suggests the need for incorporation of HIV-1 drug resistance testing prior to ART initiation. The occurrence of monophyletic transmission clusters affecting (24/160) individuals indicates their potential risk related practice. Thus, an intensified public health intervention program and monitoring of HIV drug resistance testing appears indispensible.