Background: Manipur is one of the highest HIV prevalence states of India because of its
geographical location at the international border near the golden triangle of South-East Asia, but no
study on drug resistance associated mutations (DRAMs) has been reported yet.
Objective: A population-based study on DRAMs of HIV-1 among the anti-retroviral therapy (ART)
exposed HIV-1 infected individuals of Manipur was conducted.
Methods: 110 HIV-1 positive individuals who had initially exposed to first line anti-HIV drugs were recruited for the
surveillance of DRAMs. Reverse transcriptase and protease genes of HIV-1 were amplified, sequenced and analyzed.
Results: Significant prevalence of DRAMs of HIV-1 was found among the ART exposed HIV-1 infected individuals of
Manipur. The results revealed that 37%, 29% and 7% individuals harbor HIV-1 strains mutated at the target sites of nonnucleoside
reverse transcriptase inhibitors, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors respectively.
Predominant DRAMs at RT genes were M184V, T215Y, M41L and V108I and H221Y while at PR genes were M46I and
I47V. Among the high risk groups, intravenous drug users have the highest number of DRAMs followed by heterosexual
individuals. Analysis of viral subtype based on pol gene revealed 83% subtype C, 11.8% recombinant forms and 5.2%
Conclusion: DRAMs at the target sites of reverse transcriptase inhibitors are high and these were found to have developed
resistance to the primary ART drugs that are used in Manipur. The findings of this study will help the clinicians to guide
patients during the course of ART treatment regimes.