While antiretroviral drugs, those approved for clinical use and others under evaluation, attempt in lowering viral load and boost the host immune system, antiretroviral drug resistance acts as a major impediment in the management of human immune deficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection. Antiretroviral drug resistance testing has become an important tool in the therapeutic management protocol of HIV-1 infection. The reliability and clinical utilities of genotypic and phenotypic assays have been demonstrated. Understanding of complexities of interpretation of genotyping assay, along with updating of lists of mutation and algorithms, and determination of clinically relevant cut-offs for phenotypic assays are of paramount importance. The assay results are to be interpreted and applied by experienced HIV practitioners, after taking into consideration the clinical profile of the patient. This review sums up the methods of assay currently available for measuring resistance to antiretroviral drugs and outlines the clinical utility and limitations of these assays.
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine (2006) 52 (3) 187-193