Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

New methods for the surveillance of HIV drug resistance in the resource poor world

Buckton, Andrew J

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: December 2008 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 653–658
doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283186d1a
Antimicrobials: Edited by Tania C. Sorrell and Deenan Pillay

Purpose of review As antiretroviral therapy scale-up proceeds in developing countries, simple and inexpensive procedures are required to monitor the prevalence and transmission of drug-resistant HIV strains to ensure optimal use of antiviral therapy. This article reviews new surveillance methods and practices used to monitor drug resistance in the developing world.

Recent findings Several recently published studies report the successful development of methods using dried blood spots, collected on filter paper, for HIV drug resistance genotyping tests. In concert to antiretroviral therapy rollout, the WHO has developed a laboratory network and sought to implement surveillance of transmitted drug resistance in developing countries. A small number of developing world prevalence studies have thus far been published using dried blood spots. These studies reveal low rates of transmitted drug resistance. Other studies indicate that the use of dried blood spots for HIV drug resistance surveillance may possibly lead to overestimates.

Summary The use of dried blood spots as a method of specimen collection and storage is simple, inexpensive and is an appropriate technique for the surveillance of transmitted HIV drug resistance.

Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London, UK

Correspondence to Andrew J. Buckton, Health Protection Agency, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK Tel: +44 208327 6470; fax: +44 208200 1569; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.