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J Med Virol. 2011 Mar;83(3):391-8. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21989.

No pol mutation is associated independently with the lack of immune recovery in patients infected with HIV and failing antiretroviral therapy.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, IRCCS San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.


An investigation was undertaken to determine whether specific pol mutations hinder long-term immune recovery regardless of virological response. In total, 826 patients with >50 HIV RNA copies/ml, who underwent genotypic resistance testing between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2003 after >3 years of antiretroviral treatment, and were followed up for >3 years after genotypic resistance testing, were analyzed retrospectively. The outcome of the study was the lack of immune recovery after >3 years of follow-up, defined as a slope by linear regression <0. The viremia detectability ratio was defined as the number of HIV RNA values of >50 copies/ml divided by the number of HIV RNA measurements during follow-up. Logistic regression was used for univariable and multivariable analysis. Median (Q1, Q3) values at baseline were the following: age 40 (37, 45) years, years on antiretroviral therapy 4.45 (3.65, 5.47), HIV RNA 3.91 (3.39, 4.53) log(10) copies/ml, CD4+ T-cell 358 (211, 524)/µl. After 3.13 years of follow-up, 375 patients (45.4%) showed a lack of immune recovery. The risk of lack of immune recovery increased independently with increasing baseline CD4+ counts (OR=1.104 per 50-cell increase, 95% CI=1.069-1.142, P<0.0001), increasing viremia detectability ratio during follow-up (OR=1.145 per 0.1-unit increase, 95% CI=1.093-1.202, P<0.0001), and with earlier calendar years of resistance testing (overall effect: P=0.0007). In conclusion, no pol mutation is associated independently with the lack of immune recovery.

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