Trends and correlates of HIV-1 resistance among subjects failing an antiretroviral treatment over the 2003-2012 decade in Italy

Marco Franzetti, Michela Violin, Andrea Antinori, Andrea De Luca, Francesca Ceccherini-Silberstein, Nicola Gianotti, Carlo Torti, Stefano Bonora, Maurizio Zazzi, Claudia Balotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite a substantial reduction in virological failures following introduction of new potent antiretroviral therapies in the latest years, drug resistance remains a limitation for the control of HIV-1 infection. We evaluated trends and correlates of resistance in treatment failing patients in a comprehensive database over a time period of relevant changes in prescription attitudes and treatment guidelines.Methods: We analyzed 6,796 HIV-1 pol sequences from 49 centres stored in the Italian ARCA database during the 2003-2012 period. Patients (n = 5,246) with viremia > 200 copies/mL received a genotypic test while on treatment. Mutations were identified from IAS-USA 2013 tables. Class resistance was evaluated according to antiretroviral regimens in use at failure. Time trends and correlates of resistance were analyzed by Cochran-Armitage test and logistic regression models.Results: The use of NRTI backbone regimens slightly decreased from 99.7% in 2003-2004 to 97.4% in 2010-2012. NNRTI-based combinations dropped from 46.7% to 24.1%. PI-containing regimens rose from 56.6% to 81.7%, with an increase of boosted PI from 36.5% to 68.9% overtime. In the same reference periods, Resistance to NRTIs, NNRTIs and PIs declined from 79.1% to 40.8%, from 77.8% to 53.8% and from 59.8% to 18.9%, respectively (p <.0001 for all comparisons). Dual NRTI + NNRTI and NRTI + PI resistance decreased from 56.4% to 33.3% and from 36.1% to 10.5%, respectively. Reduced risk of resistance over time periods was confirmed by a multivariate analysis.Conclusions: Mutations associated with NRTIs, NNRTIs and PIs at treatment failure declined overtime regardless of specific class combinations and epidemiological characteristics of treated population. This is likely due to the improvement of HIV treatment, including both last generation drug combinations and prescription guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number398
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 2014


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • HIV
  • HIV acquired resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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