Molecular Characterization of HIV-1 And Drug Resistance Among HIV-1 Infected Patients Attending Kayanza District Hospital, Burundi

Pascal BUTOYI, Eddy O. Odari, Alex Maiyo, Rency Lel, Raphael W. Lihana


This study was funded by the East Africa Public health Laboratory Network Project (EAPHLNP)/Burundi.


Virological failure in management of HIV-1 infection has been reported to be between 11 to 24% after 12 months of treatment. Out of these, acquired or transmitted drug resistance mutations have been reported at 71% to 90% in Sub-Sahara Africa. In this cross-sectional study we aimed to determine virological failure and drug resistance mutations in HIV-1 infected patients on ART attending Kayanza district hospital, Burundi. Patients were recruited using a purposive sampling technique. After informed consent, 4mL of venous blood was collected from each patient. The blood was separated into plasma and cells for various laboratory assays. Plasma viral loads were quantified using the Abbott m2000rt system. Polymerase chain reaction using gene specific primers was done after extraction of nucleic acids from plasma with >1000 copies/ mL, followed by sequencing of all amplified samples. Drug resistance was determined using the IAS and Stanford University database, with phylogenetic analyses done using the neighbor joining method.Two hundred patients were recruited; 13% of the respondents had virological failure associated with multiple sex partners (adjusted odds ratio (aOR, 0.154 , p =0.016) and irregularity in taking medications (aOR: 0.4 , p=0.014). Fifteen samples were successfully sequenced; 80% (12/15) were HIV-1 subtype C, 7% (1/15) subtype A, and 13% (2/15) were HIV-1 subtype A1. Of these, 87.5% had at least one mutation (NRTI or NNRTI), while 12.5 % did not carry any Drug Resistance Mutations. The most common drug resistance mutations were M183V, T215V M41L, E44D, L74I, L210W and K65R, K103N, Y188H. The prevalence of virological failure was established at 13%.Our findings showed possible gaps in the last 90% of the 90-90-90 WHO target by 2020. The results highlight the need for intense viral load and resistance testing for patients to improve overall treatment outcome. Some strategies are needed to improve adherence counselling and drug resistance mutation testing should be implemented to monitor HIV-1 patients on ART in Burundi.

Keywords: HIV-1, antiretroviral therapy, Virological failure, DRMs, Burundi.

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/9-10-05

Publication date:May 31st 2019

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