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Antivir Chem Chemother. 2001 May;12(3):161-7.

Three-drug combinations of emivirine and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in vitro: long-term culture of HIV-1-infected cells and breakthrough viruses.

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Division of Human Retroviruses, Centre for Chronic Viral Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan.


Emivirine (EMV) is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials in HIV-1-infected patients. In this study, the anti-HIV-1 activity of EMV in combination with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors was examined in cell cultures. The combinations EMV plus stavudine (d4T) plus lamivudine (3TC) and EMV plus d4T plus didanosine (ddI) synergistically inhibited HIV-1 replication in MT-4 cells. Although not statistically significant, EMV plus d4T plus 3TC appeared to be more synergistic than EMV plus d4T plus ddI. Synergism was also observed with any two-drug combinations, such as EMV plus d4T, EMV plus 3TC, EMV plus ddI, d4T plus 3TC, or d4T plus ddI. The three-drug combinations completely suppressed HIV-1 replication for at least 40 days after virus infection. Except for d4T, virus emerged in the presence of every compound alone or some combinations at lower concentrations. Susceptibility tests of the breakthrough viruses to each compound showed that the viruses obtained in the presence of EMV alone and 3TC alone were significantly less susceptible to EMV and 3TC, respectively. These viruses had specific amino acid mutations in their reverse transcriptase.

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