We compared the two commercially available sequencing kits for HIV-1 drug resistance testing, the ViroSeq Genotyping System (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA, U.S.A.) and the TRUGENE HIV-1 Genotyping Kit (Visible Genetics, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada), with our in-house genotyping system. Fifteen viral isolates from African patients (6 treated and 9 untreated) covering a panel of HIV-1 subtypes A through J and 7 plasma samples from Belgian and African patients (2 treated and 5 untreated) were tested. All the samples could be amplified and sequenced by the three systems; however, for all systems, alternative amplification/sequencing primers had to be used for some samples belonging to subtype B as well as to other subtypes. The consensus sequence was partially derived from only one strand for the in-house system and for the ViroSeq Genotyping System. The TRUGENE HIV-1 Genotyping Kit scored the highest number of ambiguities, followed by the ViroSeq Genotyping System and the in-house system. For 11 samples, these differences in reporting mixtures affected 14 resistance-related positions, which altered the interpretation toward protease inhibitors for 2 samples when using version 1.2 RetroGram software (Virology Networks, Utrecht, The Netherlands). All three systems were able to sequence diluted samples with a viral load down to 103 or 104 RNA copies/ml. Our data therefore suggest that the performance of amplification and sequencing primers must be improved to allow fast and reliable resistance testing for all HIV-1 subtypes.
- HIV-1 subtypes
- Resistance testing