Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 variants associated with zidovudine resistance.
Conlon CP., Klenerman P., Edwards A., Larder BA., Phillips RE.
During zidovudine therapy, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) acquires a distinctive set of mutations that diminish the sensitivity of the virus to this drug in vitro. An AIDS patient is described who, while being treated with zidovudine, transmitted HIV-1 bearing a drug resistance mutation to a young woman who had never received zidovudine treatment. DNA sequencing of HIV-1 proviruses confirmed that these 2 persons shared HIV genetic variants, including a mutation at codon 70 in the reverse transcriptase gene associated with reduced in vitro sensitivity to zidovudine. This mutation persisted in the woman > 1 year in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. HIV-1 with genetic markers of zidovudine resistance can be transmitted heterosexually, but it is uncertain whether dissemination of drug-resistant virus will substantially reduce the usefulness of this drug.