Genotypic antiretroviral drug resistance testing at low viral loads in the UK

Patricia A. Cane*, S. Kaye, E. Smit, P. Tilston, S. Kirk, J. Shepherd, M. Hopkins, H. Zhang, A. M. Geretti

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Antiretroviral drug resistance testing is recommended in HIV-1 infected patients failing therapy in order to inform treatment selection. Although guidelines and test manufacturers recommend a viral load of at least 500-1000 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL for genotypic resistance testing to be performed, prompt management of virological failure could benefit from testing at lower viral load levels. Methods: Laboratories undertaking genotypic resistance testing were asked to provide figures for the number of resistance tests undertaken at viral loads <2000 copies/mL, the success rates of such tests and the extent of resistance detected, all stratified for viral load levels. Results: Of the replies received, most laboratories were attempting resistance testing at viral loads below the recommended guidelines, with variable success and outcomes. Conclusions: This audit of current practice in the UK for undertaking genotypic resistance tests at viral loads <1000 copies/mL highlights the widespread use of such testing outside the British HIV Association guidelines.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)673-676
    Number of pages4
    JournalHIV Medicine
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Drug resistance testing
    • HIV
    • Viralload


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