Focus on recently developed assays for detection of resistance/sensitivity to reverse transcriptase inhibitors

Francesca Marino-Merlo, Beatrice Macchi, Daniele Armenia, Maria Concetta Bellocchi, Francesca Ceccherini-Silberstein, Antonio Mastino, Sandro Grelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The biology of HIV is rather complex due to high rate of replication, frequent recombination, and introduction of mutations. This gives rise to a number of distinct variants referred as quasispecies. In addition, the latency within reservoir allows the periodic reactivation of virus replication. The rapid replication of HIV allows immune response escape and establishment of resistance to therapy that can be acquired through drug selection and/or transmitted among individuals. This prompted, over the years, the development of a range of assays aimed to determine drug resistance and sensitivity, to be used both in clinical practice and in antiviral research. Reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors have an eminent place among the anti-HIV drugs, being constantly present from the beginning until today in the most commonly used antiviral regimens. This mini-review seeks to provide an up-to-date overview of recent efforts in developing even more reliable and simple methods, of both genotypic and phenotypic types, for specifically detecting drug resistance and sensitivity to RT inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9925-9936
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Viral
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • HIV Infections/drug therapy
  • HIV-1/drug effects
  • Humans
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors/pharmacology
  • Virus Replication


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