To determine the impact of HIV-1 subtype on treatment outcomes and the emergence of drug resistance in the resource limited setting of Kampala, Uganda.
The Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) in Kampala, Uganda has provided over 2000 drug-resistant genotypes (DRGs) over the past 10 years as standard of care for patients failing therapy and 1403 from treatment-naive and experienced patients over the past 10 years have been analyzed for this study.
Viral loads, CD4 cell count, treatment histories and other relevant clinical data was compared with the infecting HIV-1 subtype and DRGs of Ugandan patients failing treatment.
Patients failing HAART with DRGs (n = 937) were more frequently infected with subtype D than expected on the basis of the subtype distribution in the treatment-naive population (n = 655) in Kampala (P < 0.001). Higher proportions of treatment failures among subtype D-infected patients were driven by resistance to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) (P < 0.0002) more than to non-NRTIs (P > 0.04) or protease inhibitors.
Higher rates of treatment failure among subtype D as compared with subtype A-infected Ugandans was analogous to the faster disease progression in subtype D-infected patients. The mechanism(s) by which drug resistance may emerge faster in subtype D HIV-1 may relate to higher replicative fitness and increased propensity for a CXCR4 tropism.