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Future technologies for monitoring HIV drug resistance and cure

Parikh, Urvi M.a; McCormick, Kevina; van Zyl, Gertb; Mellors, John W.a

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: March 2017 - Volume 12 - Issue 2 - p 182–189
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000344
HIV AND DIAGNOSTICS: Edited by Wendy Stevens

Purpose of review Sensitive, scalable and affordable assays are critically needed for monitoring the success of interventions for preventing, treating and attempting to cure HIV infection. This review evaluates current and emerging technologies that are applicable for both surveillance of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) and characterization of HIV reservoirs that persist despite antiretroviral therapy and are obstacles to curing HIV infection.

Recent findings Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to be adapted into high-throughput, cost-efficient approaches for HIVDR surveillance and monitoring during continued scale-up of antiretroviral therapy and rollout of preexposure prophylaxis. Similarly, improvements in PCR and NGS are resulting in higher throughput single genome sequencing to detect intact proviruses and to characterize HIV integration sites and clonal expansions of infected cells.

Summary Current population genotyping methods for resistance monitoring are high cost and low throughput. NGS, combined with simpler sample collection and storage matrices (e.g. dried blood spots), has considerable potential to broaden global surveillance and patient monitoring for HIVDR. Recent adaptions of NGS to identify integration sites of HIV in the human genome and to characterize the integrated HIV proviruses are likely to facilitate investigations of the impact of experimental ‘curative’ interventions on HIV reservoirs.

aDivision of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

bDivision of Medical Virology, Stellenbosch University and NHLS Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence to John W. Mellors, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Scaife Hall, Suite 818, 3550 Terrace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. Tel: +1 412 624 8512; e-mail:

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