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AIDS. 2000 Jun 16;14(9):1203-10.

Phenotypic and genotypic analysis of clinical HIV-1 isolates reveals extensive protease inhibitor cross-resistance: a survey of over 6000 samples.

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Virco NV, Mechelen, Belgium.



To evaluate in HIV-1 the extent of phenotypic and genotypic antiretroviral drug resistance and cross-resistance towards the protease inhibitors (PIs) saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir and nelfinavir among a set of patient samples originating from European and US routine clinical practice and submitted for phenotypic drug resistance testing and/or genotypic analysis. The mutational pattern(s) underlying both resistance and cross-resistance to PIs was investigated.


Over 6000 patient isolates with plasma viral load greater than 1000 copies/ml plasma were analysed. Phenotypic resistance was evaluated by a recombinant virus assay. Phenotypic resistance is expressed as the fold-increase of the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of a compound for a patient-derived recombinant virus isolate compared with that for a wild-type laboratory virus. Genotypic analysis is reported as amino acid changes at positions in the HIV-1 protease compared to a wild-type reference.


Phenotypic resistance to any single PI was observed in 17 to 25% of the clinical isolates investigated. Phenotypic cross-resistance among PIs (> 10-fold increase in IC50 value) was detected in 59 to 80% of the samples resistant (> 10-fold increase in IC50 value) to at least one PI. The prevalent mutations in PI-resistant isolates involved substitutions at codons 10, 36, 46, 54, 71, 77, 82 and 90. The most frequent mutational pattern in samples with PI cross-resistance involved combined substitutions at positions 10 and 90, extended with substitutions at positions 54, 71, 77, 82 or 84.


Extensive use of first-generation PIs leads to the emergence of HIV-1 isolates possessing cross-resistance to all members of this class. Identification of particular mutational profiles among these isolates may assist in the design of new generation inhibitors with specific activity against protease-mutant HIV strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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