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      Transmitted HIV Type 1 drug resistance and Non-B subtypes prevalence among seroconverters and newly diagnosed patients from 1992 to 2005 in Italy.

      AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
      Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Amino Acid Substitution, genetics, Drug Resistance, Viral, Female, Genotype, HIV Infections, diagnosis, epidemiology, transmission, virology, HIV Protease, HIV Reverse Transcriptase, HIV Seropositivity, HIV-1, classification, drug effects, isolation & purification, Humans, Italy, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Young Adult, pol Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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          The patterns of transmitted drug-resistant (TDR) HIV-1 variants, non-B subtype spread, and epidemiological trends were evaluated either in seroconverters or in newly diagnosed individuals in Italy over a 13-year period. We analyzed 119 seroconverters, enrolled from 1992 to 2003 for the CASCADE study, and 271 newly diagnosed individuals of the SPREAD study (2002-2005), of whom 42 had a known seroconversion date. Overall, TDR was 15.1% in the CASCADE and 12.2% in the SPREAD study. In the 1992-2003 period, men having sex with men (MSMs) and heterosexuals (HEs) were 48.7% and 36.8%, respectively; TDR was found to be higher in MSMs compared to HEs (78.9% vs. 21%, p = 0.006). The same groups were 39.1% and 53.3% in the SPREAD study; however, no association was detected between modality of infection and TDR. Overall, 9.2% and 22.1% of individuals harbored a non-B clade virus in the CASCADE and SPREAD study, respectively. As evidence of onward transmission, 40% (24/60) of non-B variants were carried by European individuals in the latter study; among these patients the F1 subtype was highly prevalent (p = 0.00001). One of every eight patients who received a diagnosis of HIV-1 in recent years harbored a resistant variant, reinforcing the arguments for baseline resistance testing to customize first-line therapy in newly infected individuals. The spread of non-B clades may act as a dilution factor of TDR concealing the proportion of TDR in seroconverters and MSMs.

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