Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) has significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality resulting from HIV infection. ART is, however, unable to eradicate HIV, which persists latently in several cell types and tissues. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that the proliferation of cells infected before ART initiation is mainly responsible for residual viremia, although controversy still exists. Conversely, it is widely accepted that drug resistance mutations (DRMs) do not appear during ART in patients with suppressed viral loads. Studies based on sequence clustering have in fact indicated that, at least in developed countries, HIV-infected ART-naive patients are the major source of drug-resistant viruses. Analysis of longitudinally sampled sequences have also shown that DRMs have variable fitness costs, which are strongly influenced by the viral genetic background.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery