Journal Article

A Simple Screening Approach to Reduce B*5701-Associated Abacavir Hypersensitivity on the Basis of Sequence Variation in HIV Reverse Transcriptase

Celia K. S. Chui, Zabrina L. Brumme, Chanson J. Brumme, Benita Yip, Elizabeth J. Phillips, Julio S. G. Montaner and P. Richard Harrigan

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 44, issue 11, pages 1503-1508
Published in print June 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/517499
A Simple Screening Approach to Reduce B*5701-Associated Abacavir Hypersensitivity on the Basis of Sequence Variation in HIV Reverse Transcriptase

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Background. Abacavir hypersensitivity is strongly associated with the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)–B*5701 allele; however, the cost of routine high-resolution HLA typing before initiation of therapy remains prohibitive. We propose a simple approach to reduce B*5701-associated abacavir hypersensitivity based on the screening of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase (RT) for a signature B*5701-associated cytotoxic T lymphocyte escape mutation at RT codon 245.

Methods. The correlation between HLA-B*5701 and RT codon 245 variation was investigated in 392 HIV-infected, antiretroviral-naive adults who were initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy. The relationship between codon 245 variation and premature abacavir discontinuation was investigated in a larger cohort of treated individuals (n = 982). Associations between HLA-B*5701 and codon 245 variants were determined using Fisher's exact test or the χ2 test.

Results. A very strong association between HLA-B*5701 and RT codon 245 variation was observed. Only 1 (4.2%) of 24 subjects with B*5701 harbored virus with the clade B “wild-type” amino acid 245V, compared with 278 (75.5%) of 368 who did not have B*5701 (P < .001). The sensitivity and specificity of codon 245 substitutions for predicting HLA-B*5701 were 96% and 75%, respectively, and the positive and negative predictive values were 20% and 99.6%, respectively. This association remained robust even after antiretroviral treatment was administered (negative predictive value, 100%; n = 269). In abacavir-treated individuals (n = 982), codon 245 substitutions were predictive of premature abacavir discontinuation (P = .02).

Conclusions. As HIV RT sequence is incidentally obtained as a part of routine drug-resistance testing, the examination of sequence variation at RT codon 245 could be adopted as a simple, low-cost screening method to identify individuals who could be safely treated with abacavir and/or who could benefit from HLA characterization.

Journal Article.  3972 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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