Background: Efavirenz (EFV)-based regimens select broad drug resistance to nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), limiting the effectiveness of EFV and other NNRTIs. The duration, persistence, and decay of drug resistance mutations (DRMs) in the proviral reservoir is not well defined.Methods: Participants with virologic failure of EFV-based regimens and drug-resistant viremia with the K103N mutation in plasma ribonucleic acid (RNA) were identified from AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) studies A364 and A5095. These individuals received a second-line, boosted protease inhibitor-based regimen with suppression of viremia for up to10 years during long-term follow-up (median = 3.6 years; interquartile range, 2.1-6.9 years). Proviral deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells was sequenced to identify the persistence of DRM.Results: Twenty-eight participants from ACTG 364 and ACTG 5095 were evaluated. Sanger sequencing of proviral DNA detected K103N as well as additional reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (RTI) mutations. Ultradeep sequencing confirmed persistence of K103N in 71% of participants with minimal decay over time. In an adjusted model including years since suppression, persistent proviral K103N was 2.6 times more likely (95% confidence interval, 1.0-6.4) per log10 higher human immunodeficiency virus RNA at EFV failure.Conclusions: Persistence of RTI mutations in proviral DNA after virologic failure has implications for the effectiveness of future drug regimens and the recycling of RTI drugs.
View details for PubMedID 30863788