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Comparison of antiretroviral drug resistance among treatment-naive and treated HIV-infected individuals in Shiraz, Iran.


The use of anti-retroviral therapy has been effective in controlling the spread of HIV-1, and has prolonged life expectancy, but this success can be affected by the emergence of drug resistance. The main goal of this study was to investigate drug resistance in the reverse transcriptase (RT), and protease (PR) genes among HIV-1 infected individuals. We systematically selected 59 HIV-1 infected individuals from Shiraz Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center (29 treatment- naïve and 30 treated). In this study intravenous drug users older than 18 were included in this study. Using specific primers, nested RT-PCR was performed on RNA extracted from patient samples. The genes targeted for RT and PCR were successfully amplified and sequenced. The sequences of these two genes were compared with mutations related to drug resistance against nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI), non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) and protease inhibitors (PI) using the latest database from the International AIDS society - USA, Stanford University, and the patterns were recorded. Among treatment-naïve, the detected NRTI and NNRTI resistance mutations were V179T, V75 M and E138A. V179T causes high level resistance to Efavirenze and Nevirapin. V75 M causes intermediate resistance to Stavudine. Regarding NRTI and NNRTI resistance mutations among treated patients, the most frequent mutation (7%) was M184 V, which causes high level resistance to zidovudin and emtricitabine. The interesting result from this study was the detection of NRTI and NNRTI resistance mutations before the initiation of treatment, which signifies the transmission of resistant strains of virus between individuals. This mutation highlights the importance of drug resistance HIV-1 genotyping before commencing treatment.