Limited clinical benefit of minority K103N and Y181C-variant detection in addition to routine genotypic resistance testing in antiretroviral therapy-naive patients

Metzner, Karin J.; Scherrer, Alexandra U.; Von Wyl, Viktor; Böni, Jürg; Yerly, Sabine; Klimkait, Thomas; Aubert, Vincent; Furrer, Hansjakob; Hirsch, Hans H.; Vernazza, Pietro L.; Cavassini, Matthias; Calmy, Alexandra; Bernasconi, Enos; Weber, Rainer; Günthard, Huldrych F. (2014). Limited clinical benefit of minority K103N and Y181C-variant detection in addition to routine genotypic resistance testing in antiretroviral therapy-naive patients. AIDS, 28(15), pp. 2231-2239. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000397

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The presence of minority nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-resistant HIV-1 variants prior to antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been linked to virologic failure in treatment-naive patients.


We performed a large retrospective study to determine the number of treatment failures that could have been prevented by implementing minority drug-resistant HIV-1 variant analyses in ART-naïve patients in whom no NNRTI resistance mutations were detected by routine resistance testing.


Of 1608 patients in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, who have initiated first-line ART with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and one NNRTI before July 2008, 519 patients were eligible by means of HIV-1 subtype, viral load and sample availability. Key NNRTI drug resistance mutations K103N and Y181C were measured by allele-specific PCR in 208 of 519 randomly chosen patients.


Minority K103N and Y181C drug resistance mutations were detected in five out of 190 (2.6%) and 10 out of 201 (5%) patients, respectively. Focusing on 183 patients for whom virologic success or failure could be examined, virologic failure occurred in seven out of 183 (3.8%) patients; minority K103N and/or Y181C variants were present prior to ART initiation in only two of those patients. The NNRTI-containing, first-line ART was effective in 10 patients with preexisting minority NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 variant.


As revealed in settings of case-control studies, minority NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 variants can have an impact on ART. However, the sole implementation of minority NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 variant analysis in addition to genotypic resistance testing (GRT) cannot be recommended in routine clinical settings. Additional associated risk factors need to be discovered.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Furrer, Hansjakob


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Lippincott Williams & Wilkins




Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2014 10:55

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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