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J Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 1;194(5):651-60. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

Antagonism between the HIV-1 reverse-transcriptase mutation K65R and thymidine-analogue mutations at the genomic level.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15261, USA.


Prior virologic and biochemical studies have shown phenotypic antagonism between K65R and multiple thymidine-analogue mutations (TAMs) in site-directed mutants tested in vitro. We hypothesized, on the basis of this observed antagonism, that K65R and T215Y/F with multiple TAMs would not be selected on the same human immunodeficiency virus type 1 genome in vivo. We searched a large database of patient genotypes (n=59,262) for the frequency of K65R in combination with >or=3 TAMs as determined by standard population sequencing. K65R and multiple TAMs were rarely detected (<0.1%) in the same plasma sample. Samples with both K65R and >or=3 TAMs (n=21) were further analyzed by use of single-genome sequencing. K65R was never found on the same genome with T215F/Y and >or=2 other TAMs, except in the presence of the Q151M multiple nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)--resistance complex. These results indicate that antagonism between the K65R and T215Y/F pathways of NRTI resistance occurs at the genomic level. Therapy with NRTI combinations that select both pathways simultaneously may delay the emergence of NRTI resistance and prolong treatment response.

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