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Antivir Ther. 2012;17(2):327-36. doi: 10.3851/IMP1946. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

Short-course Combivir after single-dose nevirapine reduces but does not eliminate the emergence of nevirapine resistance in women.

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HIV Drug Resistance Program, NCI, NIH, Frederick, MD, USA.



In the Treatment Options Preservation Study (TOPS) trial, 4 or 7 days of Combivir (CBV; zidovudine/lamivudine) with maternal single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) significantly reduced the emergence of NVP resistance as determined by virus population genotyping. To detect NVP resistance with greater sensitivity, we analysed TOPS samples by allele-specific real-time PCR (ASP).


In a random subset of women from each arm of the trial, plasma samples from before and 6 weeks after sdNVP were analysed using ASP at codons 103, 181, 184 and 190.


Samples were analysed from 27 women in the sdNVP arm and 24 each in the CBV 4-day (sdNVP/CBV4) and 7-day (sdNVP/CBV7) arms. ASP detected NVP-resistant variants in week 6 samples from 70% of women in the sdNVP arm, 29% in the sdNVP/CBV4 arm and 33% in sdNVP/CBV7 arm (P<0.01 for sdNVP/CBV4 or sdNVP/CBV7 versus sdNVP; P=1.0 for sdNVP/CBV4 versus sdNVP/CBV7). Lamivudine resistance was detected by ASP in only 1 of 51 women who received CBV.


Short-course CBV significantly reduced but did not eliminate the emergence of NVP resistance after sdNVP. NVP-resistant variants were detected in about one-third of women despite CBV treatment, but the duration of persistence and clinical impact of these variants in response to antiretroviral therapy is uncertain.

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