Resistance profile and genetic barrier of dolutegravir

Josep M. Llibre, Bonaventura Clotet

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© 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved. The resistance profile of dolutegravir differs significantly from those of earlier integrase inhibitors (INI). Dolutegravir displays in vitro activity against mutant HIV-1 harboring any isolated resistance mutations selected during failures to raltegravir or elvitegravir (Y143C/H/, N155H, Q148H/K/R, E92G/Q, T66A/I/K, T97A, E138A/K, G140A/S). Its activity is only compromised by Q148X mutations combined with other mutations, particularly > 1 mutation. The drug has pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties (plasmatic t1/2 15.3 h, inhibitory quotient 19, dissociative t1/2 from the IN-DNA complex 71 h) that favor a high genetic barrier to resistance. In vitro the selection of HIV-1 resistance to dolutegravir is extremely difficult to achieve. The mutations eventually selected (R263K, H51Y and E138K) do not confer significant resistance, and induce a fitness cost that prevents HIV-1 from evading drug pressure. Suprisingly, HIV-1 is not able to compensate, leading the virus to a previously unnoticed evolutionary pathway with very low chances of developing resistance to INI or the backbone. No treatment-naïve patients starting dolutegravir therapy (+TDF/FTC o ABC/3TC) have selected resistance in IN or against the backbone. No INI- naïve patients with prior virologic failure selected phenotypic dolutegravir resistance. Only 4 out of 354 patients selected resistance mutations in IN, and rates of selection of mutations in IN or against the backbone were significantly lower than with raltegravir. In multitreated patients with widespread resistance including IN resistance, the high efficacy of dolutegravir was confirmed, irrespective of the previous pattern of IN mutations, provided that Q148X associated with other mutations was absent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
JournalEnfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiologia Clinica
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Dolutegravir
  • Elvitegravir
  • Genetic barrier
  • HIV-1 resistance
  • Integrase inhibitors
  • Raltegravir


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