Future technologies for monitoring HIV drug resistance and cure

Publication: Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS


Purpose of review: Sensitive, scalable and affordable assays are critically needed for monitoring the success of interventions for preventing, treating and attempting to cure HIV infection. This review evaluates current and emerging technologies that are applicable for both surveillance of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) and characterization of HIV reservoirs that persist despite antiretroviral therapy and are obstacles to curing HIV infection. Recent findings: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to be adapted into high-throughput, cost-efficient approaches for HIVDR surveillance and monitoring during continued scale-up of antiretroviral therapy and rollout of preexposure prophylaxis. Similarly, improvements in PCR and NGS are resulting in higher throughput single genome sequencing to detect intact proviruses and to characterize HIV integration sites and clonal expansions of infected cells. Summary: Current population genotyping methods for resistance monitoring are high cost and low throughput. NGS, combined with simpler sample collection and storage matrices (e.g. dried blood spots), has considerable potential to broaden global surveillance and patient monitoring for HIVDR. Recent adaptions of NGS to identify integration sites of HIV in the human genome and to characterize the integrated HIV proviruses are likely to facilitate investigations of the impact of experimental ‘curative’ interventions on HIV reservoirs.

By Urvi M. Parikh, Kevin Dylan McCormick, Gert Uves van Zyl, John W. Mellors