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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1999 Sep 1;15(13):1181-9.

The rabbit study: ritonavir and saquinavir in combination in saquinavir-experienced and previously untreated patients.

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  • 1Division of Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, London, UK.


Thirteen protease inhibitor-naive patients with HIV-1 infection, and 12 patients with a median of 58 months prior treatment with saquinavir (SQV) monotherapy, were treated with SQV (400 mg twice daily) and ritonavir (RIT, 500 mg twice daily) in a study designed to assess the effect of prior treatment with SQV monotherapy on the antiretroviral activity of RIT-SQV combination therapy. Median baseline viral load and CD4+ cell counts were 155,000 and 262,000 copies/ml and 333 and 225 cells/mm3 in the naive and experienced groups, respectively. Mean viral load changes at 24 weeks were -1.63 and -0.27 log copies/ml in the naive and SQV-experienced groups, respectively (intent-to-treat analysis). Baseline genotype by point mutation assay and sequencing in the SQV-experienced group was highly predictive of virological response. Eight of 11 SQV-experienced patients had evidence of phenotypic resistance to RIT at baseline, despite previous treatment with SQV only. There was strong correlation between phenotypic resistance to RIT and the presence of the L90M mutation. We conclude that prolonged prior treatment with saquinavir monotherapy may produce cross-resistance to ritonavir and reduce the subsequent response to ritonavir-saquinavir in combination. In this study, both phenotypic resistance to ritonavir and presence of the L90M mutation predicted the viral load response to ritonavir-saquinavir.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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