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HIV Clin Trials. 2008 Jan-Feb;9(1):11-25. doi: 10.1310/hct0901-11.

Association of efavirenz hypersusceptibility with virologic response in ACTG 368, a randomized trial of abacavir (ABC) in combination with efavirenz (EFV) and indinavir (IDV) in HIV-infected subjects with prior nucleoside analog experience.

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  • 1University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.



To evaluate the association of efavirenz hypersusceptibility (EFV-HS) with clinical outcome in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of EFV plus indinavir (EFV+IDV) vs. EFV+IDV plus abacavir (ABC) in 283 nucleoside-experienced HIV-infected patients.


Rates of virologic failure were similar in the 2 arms at week 16 (p = .509). Treatment discontinuations were more common in the ABC arm (p = .001). Using logistic regression, there was no association between virologic failure and either baseline ABC resistance or regimen sensitivity score. Using 3 different genotypic scoring systems, EFV-HS was significantly associated with reduced virologic failure at week 16, independent of treatment assignment. In some patients on the nucleoside-sparing arm, the nucleoside-resistance mutation L74V was selected for in combination with the uncommonly occurring EFV-resistance mutations K103N+L100I; L74V was not detected as a minority variant, using clonal sequence analysis, when the nucleoside-sparing regimen was initiated.


Premature treatment discontinuations in the ABC arm and the presence of EFV-HS HIV variants in this patient population likely made it difficult to detect a benefit of adding ABC to EFV+IDV. In addition, L74V, when combined with K103N+L100I, may confer a selective advantage to the virus that is independent of its effects on nucleoside resistance.

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