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BACKGROUND: Detection of drug resistance mutations (DRMs) and HIV-1 subtypes ensures effective therapeutic management for HIV-infected individuals. In Gabon, data on DRMs are very little available in the population of people living with HIV (PLHIV) but also among voluntary HIV-positive blood donors. This study aimed to study subtypes and drug resistance mutations (DRMs) in HIV-1 positive volunteer blood donors in Gabon.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out at the National Transfusion Center (NBTC) of Gabon. A purposive sampling method was used to collect 128 HIV-1 seropositive blood samples. Viral RNA was extracted on Real-time PCR (Abbott 2000®) and sequencing was performed on ABI 3500 (Hitachi®). SPSS version 21.0 software was used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Of 128 seropositive volunteer donors included, men and the 29-39 age group were more representative at 78.9% and 49.2% respectively. Eighty-two samples were sequenced. The majority strains identified were subtype A, subtype F, subtype G, CRF02_AG and CRF45_cpx. The resistance mutations identified were K103N, L210W, E138G, V179D, V179T and M46L. The prevalence of resistant subtypes was 25.6%. CRF02_AG strains exhibited high level resistance to NNRTI including Efavirenz and Nevirapine.

CONCLUSION: The study identified major drug resistance mutations in RT and PR that confer high-level resistance to most NNRTIs, NRTIs and PIs. CRF02_AG was more predominant and the frequency of resistant subtypes was high. However, these data will contribute to the therapeutic choice during the initiation of antiretroviral treatment in treatment-naive patients in Gabon.

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