BACKGROUND: Virological response and resistance profile were evaluated in drug-naïve patients starting their first-line integrase inhibitors (INIs)-based regimen in a clinical setting.
STUDY DESIGN: Virological success (VS) and virological rebound (VR) after therapy start were assessed by survival analyses. Drug-resistance was evaluated at baseline and at virological failure.
RESULTS: Among 798 patients analysed, 38.6 %, 27.1 % and 34.3 % received raltegravir, elvitegravir and dolutegravir, respectively. Baseline resistance to NRTIs, NNRTIs, PIs and INIs was: 3.9 %, 13.9 %, 1.6 % and 0.5 %, respectively. Overall, by 12 months of treatment, the probability of VS was 95 %, while the probability of VR by 36 months after VS was 13.1 %. No significant differences in the virological response were found according to the INI used. The higher pre-therapy viremia strata was (<100,000 vs. 100,000-500,000 vs. > 500,000 copies/mL), lower was the probability of VS (96.0 % vs. 95.2 % vs. 91.1 %, respectively, P < 0.001), and higher the probability of VR (10.2 % vs. 15.8 % vs. 16.6 %, respectively, P = 0.010). CD4 cell count <200 cell/mm3 was associated with the lowest probability of VS (91.5 %, P < 0.001) and the highest probability of VR (20.7 %, P = 0.008) compared to higher CD4 levels. Multivariable Cox-regression confirmed the negative role of high pre-therapy viremia and low CD4 cell count on VS, but not on VR. Forty-three (5.3 %) patients experienced VF (raltegravir: 30; elvitegravir: 9; dolutegravir: 4). Patients failing dolutegravir did not harbor any resistance mutation either in integrase or reverse transcriptase.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that patients receiving an INI-based first-line regimen achieve and maintain very high rates of VS in clinical practice.