Background: Drug resistance mutations compromise antiretroviral treatment (ART) effectiveness in HIV-1–infected children. Trends in drug resistance prevalence have not been previously evaluated in HIV-infected children in Spain.
Methods: HIV-1 variants, drug resistance prevalence dynamics and drug susceptibility were analyzed from 1993 to 2010 in HIV-infected children with available pol sequence, sample or drug resistance profile. HIV-1 variants were characterized by phylogenetic analysis. Resistance mutations in pretreated and naive patients were identified according to International AIDS Society-2010 and the World Health Organization list, respectively.
Results: In 232 patients, genotypic resistance profiles (n = 11) or pol sequences (n = 128) were recovered or newly generated from infected samples (n = 93). Patients were mainly in care at pediatric units (63%), were mostly Europeans (84%), with moderate AIDS symptoms (65%), on ART (91%) and infected by HIV-1 subtype B (89%). Transmitted major drug resistance mutations were selected in 6 (13.6%) of the 44 ART-naive children: 4.8%, 9.3% and 11.6%, for protease inhibitors, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, respectively. Overall resistance prevalence was higher (71.8%) among ART-exposed children: 39.9%, 66.5% and 35.3% for protease inhibitors, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, respectively. Resistance prevalence among ART-exposed children was higher in 2009 to 2010 relative to 1993 to1999 for nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (42% versus 6%; P = 0.006), protease inhibitors (39% versus 13%; P = 0.004) and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (63% versus 44%; P = NS). Susceptibility to each drug in resistant viruses was predicted. The rate of non-B infections increased in the last years, mainly caused by recombinant viruses.
Conclusions: The increasing resistance prevalence among the HIV-infected pediatric population in Spain highlights the importance of specific drug resistance and drug susceptibility surveillance in long-term pretreated children to optimize treatment regimens.