01 May 2010
Micek MA, Blanco AJ, Beck IA, Dross S, Matunha L, Montoya P, et al. (2010). Nevirapine Resistance by Timing of HIV type 1 Infection in Infants Treated with Single-dose Nevirapine. Clin Infect Dis. 50(10), 1405. doi: 10.1086/652151
In women, single-dose nevirapine for prophylaxis against mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) selects for nevirapine-resistant HIV-1, which subsequently decays rapidly. We hypothesized that the selection, acquisition, and decay of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 differs in infants, varying by the timing of HIV-1 infection.
We conducted a prospective, observational study of 740 Mozambican infants receiving single-dose nevirapine prophylaxis and determined the timing of infection and concentrations of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 over time.
Infants with established in utero infection had a high rate (87.0%) of selection of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 mutants, which rapidly decayed to undetectable levels. The few without nevirapine resistance received zidovudine with single-dose nevirapine and/or their mothers took alternative antiretroviral drugs. Infants with acute in utero infection had a lower rate of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 (33.3%; P =.006, compared with established in utero infection), but mutants persisted over time. Infants with peripartum infection also had a lower rate of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 (38.1%; P =.001, compared with established in utero infection) but often acquired 100% mutant virus that persisted over time (P =.017, compared with established in utero infection).
The detection and persistence of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 in infants after single-dose nevirapine therapy vary by the timing of infection and the antiretroviral regimen. In infants with persistent high-level nevirapine-resistant HIV-1, nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy is unlikely to ever be efficacious because of concentrations in long-lived viral reservoirs. However, the absence or decay of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 in many infants suggests that nevirapine antiretroviral therapy may be effective if testing can identify these individuals.