Treatment history and baseline viral load, but not viral tropism or CCR-5 genotype, influence prolonged antiviral efficacy of highly active antiretroviral treatment


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Abstract

Background:The efficacy of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) in HIV-1 disease may vary between nucleoside-naive and experienced patients as well as between patients with different viral phenotypes and in different stages of disease.Objective:To investigate variables of importance for successful long-term viral suppression by analysing virological, clinical and immunological characteristics at initiation of protease inhibitor treatment on suppression of HIV RNA over 1 year.Design:An open, non-randomized, observational clinical study.Setting:Venhälsan, Department of Dermatovenereology, Söder Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.Patients:A total of 147 unselected advanced patients with known HIV-1 infection for a mean of 7 years, of whom 37% had AIDS and who started treatment with a protease inhibitor during 1996.Interventions:All patients received HAART with at least two nucleoside analogues in combination with either indinavir (81%) or ritonavir (19%). The majority (77%) had been previously treated with nucleoside analogues for a mean of 39 months.Measurements:CD4+ lymphocyte count, plasma HIV-1 RNA, viral phenotype and HIV-1 coreceptor CCR-5 genotype at baseline. Viral load and CD4+ lymphocyte count were determined every 3 months.Results:Patients were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. The mean CD4+ lymphocyte count at baseline was 170 × 106/l and the median viral load was 68 600 copies/ml. Heterozygosity for the Δ32 deletion of the CCR-5 gene (Δ32/wt) was found in 27%. MT-2 positive virus (syncytium-inducing) was isolated in 46%. Logistic regression revealed that nucleoside analogue experience and baseline log10 HIV-1 RNA were the only factors independently related to plasma HIV-1 RNA levels below 500 copies/ml after 1 year of treatment, which was found in 69%.Conclusion:The virological outcome after 1 year of HAART was strongly correlated to prior treatment history and baseline viral load, whereas CD4+ lymphocyte count, CCR-5 genotype and viral biological phenotype had less influence. The long-term antiviral efficacy of HAART was lowest in individuals with previous nucleoside analogue treatment and a high baseline viral load. In these individuals an even more aggressive treatment should be considered. © 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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