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Increase of Transmitted Drug Resistance among HIV-Infected Sub-Saharan Africans Residing in Spain in Contrast to the Native Population
Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Author: Gonzalo Yebra et al.

by Gonzalo Yebra, Miguel de Mulder, María Jesús Pérez-Elías, José Antonio Pérez-Molina, Juan Carlos Galán, Jara Llenas-García, Santiago Moreno, África Holguín


The prevalence of transmitted HIV drug resistance (TDR) is stabilizing or decreasing in developed countries. However, this trend is not specifically evaluated among immigrants from regions without well-implemented antiretroviral strategies.


TDR trends during 1996–2010 were analyzed among naïve HIV-infected patients in Spain, considering their origin and other factors. TDR mutations were defined according to the World Health Organization list.


Pol sequence was available for 732 HIV-infected patients: 292 native Spanish, 226 sub-Saharan Africans (SSA), 114 Central-South Americans (CSA) and 100 from other regions. Global TDR prevalence was 9.7% (10.6% for Spanish, 8.4% for SSA and 7.9% for CSA). The highest prevalences were found for protease inhibitors (PI) in Spanish (3.1%), for non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) in SSA (6.5%) and for nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) in both Spanish and SSA (6.5%). The global TDR rate decreased from 11.3% in 2004–2006 to 8.4% in 2007–2010. Characteristics related to a decreasing TDR trend in 2007-10 were Spanish and CSA origin, NRTI- and NNRTI-resistance, HIV-1 subtype B, male sex and infection through injection drug use. TDR remained stable for PI-resistance, in patients infected through sexual intercourse and in those carrying non-B variants. However, TDR increased among SSA and females. K103N was the predominant mutation in all groups and periods.


TDR prevalence tended to decrease among HIV-infected native Spanish and Central-South Americans, but it increased up to 13% in sub-Saharan immigrants in 2007–2010. These results highlight the importance of a specific TDR surveillance among immigrants to prevent future therapeutic failures, especially when administering NNRTIs.