Potential for immune-driven viral polymorphisms to compromise antiretroviral-based preexposure prophylaxis for prevention of HIV-1 infection

International HIV Adaptation Collaborative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Long-acting rilpivirine is a candidate for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for prevention of HIV-1 infection. However, rilpivirine resistance mutations at reverse transcriptase codon 138 (E138X) occur naturally in a minority of HIV-1-infected persons; in particular those expressing human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B 18 where reverse transcriptase-E138X arises as an immune escape mutation. We investigate the global prevalence, B 18-linkage and replicative cost of reverse transcriptase-E138X and its regional implications for rilpivirine PrEP. Methods: We analyzed linked reverse transcriptase-E138X/HLA data from 7772 antiretroviral-naive patients from 16 cohorts spanning five continents and five HIV-1 subtypes, alongside unlinked global reverse transcriptase-E138X and HLA frequencies from public databases. E138X-containing HIV-1 variants were assessed for in-vitro replication as a surrogate of mutation stability following transmission. Results: Reverse transcriptase-E138X variants, where the most common were rilpivirine resistance-associated mutations E138A/G/K, were significantly enriched in HLA-B 18-positive individuals globally (P==3.5×10 -20) and in all HIV-1 subtypes except A. Reverse transcriptase-E138X and B 18 frequencies correlated positively in 16 cohorts with linked HIV/HLA genotypes (Spearman's R==0.75; P==7.6×10 -4) and in unlinked HIV/HLA data from 43 countries (Spearman's R==0.34, P==0.02). Notably, reverse transcriptase-E138X frequencies approached (or exceeded) 10% in key epidemic regions (e.g. sub-Saharan Africa, Southeastern Europe) where B 18 is more common. This, along with the observation that reverse transcriptase-E138X variants do not confer in-vitro replicative costs, supports their persistence, and ongoing accumulation in circulation over time. Conclusions: Results illustrate the potential for a natural immune-driven HIV-1 polymorphism to compromise antiretroviral-based prevention, particularly in key epidemic regions. Regional reverse transcriptase-E138X surveillance should be undertaken before use of rilpivirine PrEP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1935-1943
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS
Volume31
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2017

Keywords

  • E138X
  • escape mutation
  • human leukocyte antigen-B 18
  • replication fitness
  • rilpivirine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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