Objectives: The aim of the study was to analyse the prevalence of integrase resistance mutations in integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI)-experienced HIV-1-infected patients and its predictors. Methods: We selected HIV-1 integrase sequences from the Antiviral Response Cohort Analysis (ARCA) database, derived from INSTI-experienced patients between 2008 and 2017. Differences in the prevalence of resistance to raltegravir (RAL), elvitegravir (EVG) and dolutegravir (DTG) were assessed by χ 2 test and predictors of resistance were analysed by logistic regression. Results: We included 462 genotypes from INSTI-exposed individuals: 356 ‘INSTI-failing' patients and 106 ‘previously INSTI-exposed' patients (obtained a median of 42 weeks after INSTI discontinuation [interquartile range (IQR) 17–110 weeks]). Overall, at least low-level resistance (LLR) to any INSTI (Stanford 8.5 algorithm) was detected in 198 (42.9%) cases. The most frequent INSTI resistance mutation was N155H, followed by Q148H/K/R, G140A/C/S, E138A/K/T and Y143C/H/R. Y143R and E138A were more prevalent in viral subtype B versus non-B [5.2 versus 1.5%, respectively (P = 0.04), and 3.1 versus 0%, respectively (P = 0.02)]. Overall, the Q148H/K/R plus G140A/C/S and/or E138A/K/T pattern, defining an intermediate level of resistance to DTG, was detected in 70 (15%) cases. Independent predictors of at least LLR to any INSTI were current use versus past use of INSTIs, a lower genotypic sensitivity score (GSS) for contemporary antiretroviral drugs used, and having an integrase sequence obtained in calendar year 2016 as compared to 2008–2009. Conclusions: The results support integrase resistance testing in INSTI-experienced patients. Emergence of INSTI resistance is facilitated by the reduced genetic barrier of the regimen as a consequence of resistance to companion drugs. However, INSTI resistance may become undetectable by standard population sequencing upon INSTI discontinuation.
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