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J Virol. 1997 Nov;71(11):8893-8.

Susceptibility of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 group O isolates to antiretroviral agents: in vitro phenotypic and genotypic analyses.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Virologie, Hôpital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France.


We investigated the phenotypic and genotypic susceptibility of 11 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) group O strains to nucleoside and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors and protease inhibitors in vitro. Phenotypic susceptibility was determined by using a standardized in vitro assay of RT inhibition, taking into account the replication kinetics of each strain. HIV-1 group M and HIV-2 isolates were used as references. DNA from cocultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells was amplified by using pol-specific group O primers and cloned for sequencing. Group O isolates were highly sensitive to nucleoside inhibitors, but six isolates were naturally highly resistant to all of the nonnucleoside RT inhibitors tested. Phylogenetic analysis of the pol gene showed that these isolates formed a separate cluster within group O, and genotypic analysis revealed a tyrosine-to-cysteine substitution at residue 181. Differences in susceptibility to saquinavir and ritonavir (RTV) were not significant between group O and group M isolates, although the 50% inhibitory concentration of RTV for group O isolates was higher than that for the HIV-1 subtype B strains. The study of HIV-1 group O susceptibility to antiretroviral drugs revealed that the viruses tested had specific phenotypic characteristics contrasting with the group M phenotypic expression.

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