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Transmission of HIV-1 drug resistance in Benin could jeopardise future treatment options
  1. Annie Chamberland1,
  2. Souleymane Diabaté1,
  3. Mohamed Sylla1,
  4. Séverin Anagounou2,
  5. Nassirou Geraldo2,
  6. Djimon Marcel Zannou3,
  7. Annie-Claude Labbé4,5,
  8. Michael Worobey6,
  9. Michel Alary7,8,9,
  10. Cécile Tremblay1,5
  1. 1Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2Dispensaire IST, Centre de santé de Cotonou I, Cotonou, Bénin
  3. 3Centre de traitement ambulatoire du Centre national hospitalier universitaire, Cotonou, Bénin
  4. 4Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  5. 5Département de microbiologie et immunologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  6. 6Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  7. 7URESP, Centre de recherche FRSQ du CHA universitaire de Québec, Québec, Canada
  8. 8Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  9. 9Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Québec, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cécile Tremblay, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, 3840, rue St-Urbain, Bureau 7-355, Montréal, QC, Canada H2W 1T8; c.tremblay{at}


Objectives As access to antiretrovirals (ARV) increases in developing countries, the identification of optimal therapeutic regimens and prevention strategies requires the identification of resistance pathways in non-B subtypes as well as the surveillance of drug mutation resistance (SDMR) including the trafficking of viral strains between high-risk groups such as commercial sex workers (CSW) and the general population (GP). In this study, the authors evaluated the rate of primary resistance mutations and the epidemiological link between isolates from GP and CSW from Bénin.

Methods Plasma samples were obtained from 129 HIV-1-infected treatment-naïve individuals. Drug resistance mutations were identified using SDMR list and compared with other resistance algorithms.

Results No nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor resistance mutations were found. Four patients had non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor resistance (K103N, G190A). One patient exhibited protease inhibitors resistance mutation, F53Y. Using the SDMR list, the authors obtained a rate of 3.9% of primary resistance. Nevertheless, the authors observed several mutations not on SDMR list but included in others resistance database, taking those mutations into account, the authors obtained a rate of 15.5%.

Conclusions Although our results show a low rate of SDMR, this algorithm may underestimate resistance mutations that may impact treatment options in developing countries. Primary resistance rates were similar in CSW and in the GP. Our phylogenetic analysis confirmed the genetic exchange between groups.

  • HIV subtypes
  • primary resistance
  • mutations
  • epidemiology
  • Africa
  • HIV
  • HIV clinical care
  • HIV therapeutics
  • resistance

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  • Funding This scientific work was supported financially by a research grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) HPR-85528, by Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) and by Virco BVBA. MA was a national researcher of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, grant #8722. CT is the University of Montreal/Pfizer Chair on translational HIV research.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval CRCHUM, Ethics Institutional Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.