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Yale Study Uses 454 Sequencing to Detect Drug-Resistant HIV Variants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - 454 Life Sciences said on Friday that it has collaborated with the Yale University School of Medicine to use its sequencing technology to identify previously undetectable drug-resistant HIV variants at an early stage.
The study authors said that current genotyping technology can only detect resistance mutations at levels of approximately 20 percent or greater, but sequencing is able to detect resistance mutations at the 1 percent level.
“The additional low-abundant resistant variants detected by Ultra Deep sequencing were found to be extremely important as it enabled the prediction of early antiretroviral treatment failure with strong statistical significance,” 454 said in a statement.
The blinded-retrospective study analyzed 258 blood samples from individuals infected with HIV in the FIRST study, a five-year, multi-center study that evaluated the long-term clinical and virologic effects of three initial antiretroviral drug regimens.

The findings were presented last week at the XVI International HIV Drug Resistance Workshop in . It was not immediately clear if this research will be published.

"In the future, hopefully clinicians can use this knowledge to choose better antiretroviral drug combinations," said Michael Kozal, senior author on the study. Better drug combinations, Kozal added, will lead to better patient responses.

The University of Minnesota's Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS Statistical Center contributed to the study by correlating the sequence data with the patient outcomes, the company said.

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