The frequency of resistant mutant virus before antiviral therapy

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To calculate the expected prevalence of resistant HIV mutants before antiviral therapy.


HIV replication generates virus mutants. The prevalence of these mutants is determined by mutation and selection/fitness. Some mutations will confer drug resistance and it is crucial for the success of antiviral drug therapy to determine whether these resistant viruses are present before the initiation of therapy.


A quasispecies equation was used to calculate the expected frequency of drug-resistant virus prior to therapy.

Results and conclusions:

We show how the pretreatment frequency of resistant virus depends on the number of point mutations between wild-type and mutant virus, the selective disadvantage of the resistant mutant and the intermediate mutants, and the mutation rate.

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