Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37376544
Link to DOI – 10.3390/v15061244
Viruses 2023 May; 15(6):
A deeper understanding of HIV-1 transmission and drug resistance mechanisms can lead to improvements in current treatment policies. However, the rates at which HIV-1 drug resistance mutations (DRMs) are acquired and which transmitted DRMs persist are multi-factorial and vary considerably between different mutations. We develop a method for the estimation of drug resistance acquisition and transmission patterns. The method uses maximum likelihood ancestral character reconstruction informed by treatment roll-out dates and allows for the analysis of very large datasets. We apply our method to transmission trees reconstructed on the data obtained from the UK HIV Drug Resistance Database to make predictions for known DRMs. Our results show important differences between DRMs, in particular between polymorphic and non-polymorphic DRMs and between the B and C subtypes. Our estimates of reversion times, based on a very large number of sequences, are compatible but more accurate than those already available in the literature, with narrower confidence intervals. We consistently find that large resistance clusters are associated with polymorphic DRMs and DRMs with long loss times, which require special surveillance. As in other high-income countries (e.g., Switzerland), the prevalence of sequences with DRMs is decreasing, but among these, the fraction of transmitted resistance is clearly increasing compared to the fraction of acquired resistance mutations. All this indicates that efforts to monitor these mutations and the emergence of resistance clusters in the population must be maintained in the long term.