Mutations in the pol gene of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in infected patients receiving didanosine and hydroxyurea combination therapy.


The pattern of mutations in the reverse transcriptase (RT) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains that confer resistance to didanosine (ddI) was analyzed in 2 groups of patients receiving either ddI monotherapy or ddI plus hydroxyurea (HU) combination therapy. Twelve patients receiving combination therapy and 8 receiving monotherapy were tested. Combinations of ddI plus HU did not prevent the onset of mutations, which emerged in 50% of the patients in this group compared with 25% of the ddI monotherapy group. In addition, in 1 patient from the combination therapy arm, who had a limited response to the therapy, an unusual pattern of mutations was found: the insertion of 2 amino acids between residues 69 and 70, a region critical for resistance to nucleoside analogs. The higher efficacy of the combination of HU and ddI compared with that of ddI monotherapy cannot be attributed to a delayed or decreased onset of resistance to ddI.





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