HIV-1 non-group M phenotypic susceptibility to integrase strand transfer inhibitors

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To determine natural phenotypic susceptibility of non-group M HIV-1 to integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) in a large panel of 39 clinical strains from groups O, N and P and to identify genotypic polymorphisms according to susceptibility levels.


Susceptibility to raltegravir, elvitegravir and dolutegravir was evaluated in 36 HIV-1/O, 2 HIV-1/N and 1 HIV-1/P strains plus an HIV-1/M reference strain. IC50 values were determined after 3 days, and fold changes (FCs) were calculated relative to the HIV-1/M strain. Genotypic polymorphism was determined by amplification of codons 19–263 of the integrase; the natural occurrence of resistance-associated mutations was analysed using the main resistance algorithms and the IAS-USA list. VESPA analysis of the strain sequences was used to determine a signature pattern associated with higher FC.


Similar IC50 results were observed for the three drugs. Based on the value for the HIV-1/M reference strain, the data showed FC values <2.5 for raltegravir and dolutegravir, whereas the distribution for elvitegravir was heterogeneous, with FC >10 for six strains (15%). Analysis of the non-M integrase sequences showed a high level of polymorphism without a major genotypic impact; it also revealed mutations that may be associated with the highest FC values obtained for elvitegravir.


Our phenotypic data showed that non-M strains are globally susceptible to the three currently used INSTIs, but the impact of the high FC values observed for some strains with elvitegravir needs to be explored. Clinical data are now needed to confirm these phenotypic results.

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