Eugen Schülter

University of Cologne, Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (37)112.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The objective of this study was to improve the prediction of the impact of HIV-1 protease mutations in different viral subtypes on virological response to darunavir. Methods: Darunavir-containing treatment change episodes (TCEs) in patients previously failing PIs were selected from large European databases. HIV-1 subtype B-infected patients were used as the derivation dataset and HIV-1 non-B-infected patients were used as the validation dataset. The adjusted association of each mutation with week 8 HIV RNA change from baseline was analysed by linear regression. A prediction model was derived based on best subset least squares estimation with mutational weights corresponding to regression coefficients. Virological outcome prediction accuracy was compared with that from existing genotypic resistance interpretation systems (GISs) (ANRS 2013, Rega 9.1.0 and HIVdb 7.0). Results: TCEs were selected from 681 subtype B-infected and 199 non-B-infected adults. Accompanying drugs were NRTIs in 87%, NNRTIs in 27% and raltegravir or maraviroc or enfuvirtide in 53%. The prediction model included weighted protease mutations, HIV RNA, CD4 and activity of accompanying drugs. The model's association with week 8 HIV RNA change in the subtype B (derivation) set was R(2) = 0.47 [average squared error (ASE) = 0.67, P < 10(-6)]; in the non-B (validation) set, ASE was 0.91. Accuracy investigated by means of area under the receiver operating characteristic curves with a binary response (above the threshold value of HIV RNA reduction) showed that our final model outperformed models with existing interpretation systems in both training and validation sets. Conclusions: A model with a new darunavir-weighted mutation score outperformed existing GISs in both B and non-B subtypes in predicting virological response to darunavir.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The use of the NNRTI rilpivirine in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is under debate. The main objective of this study was to provide further clinical insights and biochemical evidence on the usefulness of rilpivirine in LMICs. Patients and methods: Rilpivirine resistance was assessed in 5340 therapy-naive and 13 750 first-generation NNRTI-failed patients from Europe and therapy-naive HIV-1 subtype C (HIV-1C)-infected individuals from India (n = 617) and Ethiopia (n = 127). Rilpivirine inhibition and binding affinity assays were performed using patient-derived HIV-1C reverse transcriptases (RTs). Results: Primary rilpivirine resistance was rare, but the proportion of patients with >100 000 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL pre-ART was high in patients from India and Ethiopia, limiting the usefulness of rilpivirine as a first-line drug in LMICs. In patients failing first-line NNRTI treatments, cross-resistance patterns suggested that 73% of the patients could benefit from switching to rilpivirine-based therapy. In vitro inhibition assays showed ∼2-fold higher rilpivirine IC50 for HIV-1C RT than HIV-1B RT. Pre-steady-state determination of rilpivirine-binding affinities revealed 3.2-fold lower rilpivirine binding to HIV-1C than HIV-1B RT. Structural analysis indicated that naturally occurring polymorphisms close to the NNRTI-binding pocket may reduce rilpivirine binding, leading to lower susceptibility of HIV-1C to rilpivirine. Conclusions: Our clinical and biochemical findings indicate that the usefulness of rilpivirine has limitations in HIV-1C-dominated epidemics in LMICs, but the drug could still be beneficial in patients failing first-line therapy if genotypic resistance testing is performed.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: Resistance analysis from viral RNA is restricted to detectable viral load. Therefore, analysis from proviral DNA could help in cases with low-level or suppressed viremia. Viral plasma RNA and the corresponding cellular proviral DNA of 78 EDTA samples from 48 therapy-naïve (TN) and 30 therapy-experienced (TE) HIV-1-infected patients were isolated and analyzed for their resistance profiles in the protease and reverse transcriptase genes. Overall, 175 drug-resistance mutations (DRMs) were detected in 25/30 TE (83.3%) and 5/48 TN (10.4%) samples. The TE patients displayed a mean number of 6.68 DRMs in RNA and 5.20 in DNA. In the TN patients, a mean of 0.8 DRMs was found in RNA and 1.0 in DNA; 75% of the DRMs were detected in RNA and DNA simultaneously. In the TE samples, 76% of the DRMs were detected simultaneously in RNA and DNA, 23% exclusively in RNA and 1% in DNA only. The TN samples revealed a significantly higher frequency of DRMs in DNA than in RNA. Proviral DNA resistance testing provides additional resistance information for TN patients. It is also a reliable alternative for TE patients with unsuccessful RNA testing and can provide valuable information when no records are available. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Intervirology
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The health condition of HIV-1 infected patients has improved during the last years, but lifelong antiretroviral treatment is still needed. However resistance, multiple side effects and drug to drug interactions of antiretrovirals challenge the establishment of a long lasting regimen. The average running time of each antiretroviral drug composing the therapy episodes combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) may be seen as an indicator of effectiveness and tolerability. Materials and Methods To evaluate the running time of each drug used in HIV-1 treatment, we extracted therapy episodes from the latest release of the EuResist database (www.euresist.org). The evaluation period was from Oct 2006 to Oct 2012. Inclusion criteria for this analysis were continuous patient monitoring for at least two years (i.e. latest therapy start in Oct 2010), and the extraction of at least 100 cases per drug analyzed. Drug intake interruptions of less than a month were ignored. Results At the time of data extraction (Feb 2013), the EuResist database contained data from 61,953 patients of which 11,499 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. We obtained 37,035 drug treatment lines from 38,153 cARTs and the overall average length of drug intake was 18.7 months. For each single drug these average durations measured in months were: 18.3 (3TC); 20.8 (ABC); 12.3 (d4T); 14.3 (ddI); 23.2 (FTC); 23.0 (TDF); 13.4 (ZDV); 19.8 (EFV); 21.9 (ETR); 17.7 (NVP); 19.2 (ATV); 22.7 (DRV); 18.7 (FPV); 17.9 (LPV); 15.2 (SQV); 14.6 (TPV); 22.6 (RAL); 21.9 (MVC) and 8.9 (T20). Overall drug discontinuation rates at one, two and three years were 35.0, 48.8 and 95.8%, respectively. Average discontinuation rates for the different drug classes at two years these were: 46.2% for NRTIs; 49.7% for NNRTIs; 55.4% for PIs and 37.6% for Raltegravir/Maraviroc. Conclusions In this cohort the overall frequency of therapy changes is high. After two years of treatment, on average 49% of the patients change at least one drug in their cART. Thus, we have to expect numerous changes in the long term perspective of treatments. The observed differences in durations suggest that newer drugs might have advantages over older ones. However possible reasons and confounding factors (such as number of past treatment lines, co-medication, risk group, etc.) were not addressed at this time of the analysis.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of the International AIDS Society
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    ABSTRACT: Objective We assessed trends in the proportion of transmitted (TDR) and acquired (ADR) HIV drug resistance and associated mutations between 2001 and 2011 in the German ClinSurv-HIV Drug Resistance Study. Method The German ClinSurv-HIV Drug Resistance Study is a subset of the German ClinSurv-HIV Cohort. For the ClinSurv-HIV Drug Resistance Study all available sequences isolated from patients in five study centres of the long term observational ClinSurv-HIV Cohort were included. TDR was estimated using the first viral sequence of antiretroviral treatment (ART) naïve patients. One HIV sequence/patient/year of ART experienced patients was considered to estimate the proportion of ADR. Trends in the proportion of HIV drug resistance were calculated by logistic regression. Results 9,528 patients were included into the analysis. HIV-sequences of antiretroviral naïve and treatment experienced patients were available from 34% (3,267/9,528) of patients. The proportion of TDR over time was stable at 10.4% (95% CI 9.1–11.8; p for trend = 0.6; 2001–2011). The proportion of ADR among all treated patients was 16%, whereas it was high among those with available HIV genotypic resistance test (64%; 1,310/2,049 sequences; 95% CI 62–66) but declined significantly over time (OR 0.8; 95% CI 0.77–0.83; p for trend<0.001; 2001–2011). Viral load monitoring subsequent to resistance testing was performed in the majority of treated patients (96%) and most of them (67%) were treated successfully. Conclusions The proportion of TDR was stable in this study population. ADR declined significantly over time. This decline might have been influenced by broader resistance testing, resistance test guided therapy and the availability of more therapeutic options and not by a decline in the proportion of TDR within the study population.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: A novel tetra-peptide insertion was identified in Gag-p6 ALIX-binding region, which appeared in protease inhibitor failure Indian HIV-1C sequences (odds ratio 17.1, P < 0.001) but was naturally present in half of untreated Ethiopian HIV-1C sequences. The insertion is predicted to restore ALIX-mediated virus release pathway, which is lacking in HIV-1C. The clinical importance of the insertion needs to be evaluated in HIV-1C dominating regions wherein the use of protease inhibitor drugs are being scaled up.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · AIDS (London, England)

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    ABSTRACT: Superinfection with drug resistant HIV strains could potentially contribute to compromised therapy in patients initially infected with drug-sensitive virus and receiving antiretroviral therapy. To investigate the importance of this potential route to drug resistance, we developed a bioinformatics pipeline to detect superinfection from routinely collected genotyping data, and assessed whether superinfection contributed to increased drug resistance in a large European cohort of viremic, drug treated patients. We used sequence data from routine genotypic tests spanning the protease and partial reverse transcriptase regions in the Virolab and EuResist databases that collated data from five European countries. Superinfection was indicated when sequences of a patient failed to cluster together in phylogenetic trees constructed with selected sets of control sequences. A subset of the indicated cases was validated by re-sequencing pol and env regions from the original samples. 4425 patients had at least two sequences in the database, with a total of 13816 distinct sequence entries (of which 86% belonged to subtype B). We identified 107 patients with phylogenetic evidence for superinfection. In 14 of these cases, we analyzed newly amplified sequences from the original samples for validation purposes: only 2 cases were verified as superinfections in the repeated analyses, the other 12 cases turned out to involve sample or sequence misidentification. Resistance to drugs used at the time of strain replacement did not change in these two patients. A third case could not be validated by re-sequencing, but was supported as superinfection by an intermediate sequence with high degenerate base pair count within the time frame of strain switching. Drug resistance increased in this single patient. Routine genotyping data are informative for the detection of HIV superinfection; however, most cases of non-monophyletic clustering in patient phylogenies arise from sample or sequence mix-up rather than from superinfection, which emphasizes the importance of validation. Non-transient superinfection was rare in our mainly treatment experienced cohort, and we found a single case of possible transmitted drug resistance by this route. We therefore conclude that in our large cohort, superinfection with drug resistant HIV did not compromise the efficiency of antiretroviral treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · BMC Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Subtype-dependent selection of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase resistance mutation K65R was previously observed in cell culture and small clinical investigations. We compared K65R prevalence across subtypes A, B, C, F, G, and CRF02_AG separately in a cohort of 3,076 patients on combination therapy including tenofovir. K65R selection was significantly higher in HIV-1 subtype C. This could not be explained by clinical and demographic factors in multivariate analysis, suggesting subtype sequence-specific K65R pathways.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: Etravirine (ETR) is a next generation non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). The studies for ETR EMA approval were almost exclusively performed together with the protease inhibitor (PI) darunavir. However the fact that ETR can be active against NNRTI-pretreated HIV variants and that it is well tolerated suggests its application in PI-free antiretroviral combination therapies. Although approved only for PI-containing therapies, a number of ETR treatments without PIs are performed currently. To evaluate the performance of ETR in PI-free regimens, we analyzed the EURESIST database. We observed a total of 70 therapy switches to a PI-free, ETR containing antiretroviral combination with detectable baseline viral load. 50/70 switches were in male patients and 20/70 in females. The median of previous treatments was 10. The following combinations were detected in the EURESIST database: ETR+MVC+RAL (20.0%); ETR+FTC+TDF (18.6%); 3TC+ETR+RAL (7.1%); 3TC+ABC+ETR (5.7%); other combinations (31.4%). A switch was defined as successful when either ≤50 copies/mL or a decline of the viral load of 2 log10, both at week 24 (range 18-30) were achieved. The overall success rate (SR) was 77% (54/70), and for the different combinations: ETR+MVC+RAL=78.6% (11/14); ETR+FTC+TDF=92.3% (12/13); 3TC+ETR+RAL =80.0% (4/5), 3TC+ABC+ETR=100% (SR 4/4); and for other combinations=67.6% (23/34). These SR values are comparable to those for other therapy combinations in such pretreated patients.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of the International AIDS Society
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    ABSTRACT: HIV's genetic instability means that sequence similarity can illuminate the underlying transmission network. Previous application of such methods to samples from the United Kingdom has suggested that as many as 86% of UK infections arose outside of the country, a conclusion contrary to usual patterns of disease spread. We investigated transmission networks in the Resina cohort, a 2,747 member sample from Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, sequenced at therapy start. Transmission networks were determined by thresholding the pairwise genetic distance in the pol gene at 96.8% identity. At first blush the results concurred with the UK studies. Closer examination revealed four large and growing transmission networks that encompassed all major transmission groups. One of these formed a supercluster containing 71% of the sex with men (MSM) subjects when the network was thresholded at levels roughly equivalent to those used in the UK studies, though methodological differences suggest that this threshold may be too generous in the current data. Examination of the endo- versus exogenesis hypothesis by testing whether infections that were exogenous to Cologne or to Dusseldorf were endogenous to the greater region supported endogenous spread in MSM subjects and exogenous spread in the endemic transmission group. In intravenous drug using group subjects, it depended on viral strain, with subtype B sequences appearing to have origin exogenous to the Resina data, while non-B sequences (primarily subtype A) were almost completely endogenous to their local community. These results suggest that, at least in Germany, the question of endogenous versus exogenous linkages depends on subject group.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Medical Microbiology and Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: For a long time, the clinical management of antiretroviral drug resistance was based on sequence analysis of the HIV genome followed by estimating drug susceptibility from the mutational pattern that was detected. The large number of anti-HIV drugs and HIV drug resistance mutations has prompted the development of computer-aided genotype interpretation systems, typically comprising rules handcrafted by experts via careful examination of in vitro and in vivo resistance data. More recently, machine learning approaches have been applied to establish data-driven engines able to indicate the most effective treatments for any patient and virus combination. Systems of this kind, currently including the Resistance Response Database Initiative and the EuResist engine, must learn from the large data sets of patient histories and can provide an objective and accurate estimate of the virological response to different antiretroviral regimens. The EuResist engine was developed by a European consortium of HIV and bioinformatics experts and compares favorably with the most commonly used genotype interpretation systems and HIV drug resistance experts. Next-generation treatment response prediction engines may valuably assist the HIV specialist in the challenging task of establishing effective regimens for patients harboring drug-resistant virus strains. The extensive collection and accurate processing of increasingly large patient data sets are eagerly awaited to further train and translate these systems from prototype engines into real-life treatment decision support tools.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Intervirology
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    ABSTRACT: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been shown to be effective in many recent trials. However, there is limited data on time trends of HAART efficacy after treatment change. Data from different European cohorts were compiled within the EuResist Project. The efficacy of HAART defined by suppression of viral replication at 24 weeks after therapy switch was analyzed considering previous treatment modifications from 1999 to 2008. Results: Altogether, 12,323 treatment change episodes in 7,342 patients were included in the analysis. In 1999, HAART after treatment switch was effective in 38.0% of the patients who had previously undergone 1-5 therapies. This figure rose to 85.0% in 2008. In patients with more than 5 previous therapies, efficacy rose from 23.9 to 76.2% in the same time period. In patients with detectable viral load at therapy switch, the efficacy rose from 23.3 to 66.7% with 1-5 previous treatments and from 14.4 to 55.6% with more than 5 previous treatments. The results of this large cohort show that the outcome of HAART switch has improved considerably over the last years. This result was particularly observed in the context after viral rebound. Thus, changing HAART is no longer associated with a high risk of treatment failure.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Intervirology
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    ABSTRACT: Sustained suppression of viral replication in HIV-1 infected patients is especially hampered by the emergence of HIV-1 drug resistance. The mechanisms of drug resistance mainly involve mutations directly altering the interaction of viral enzymes and inhibitors. However, protease inhibitors do not only select for mutations in the protease but also for mutations in the precursor Gag and Pol proteins. In this study, we analysed the frameshift-regulating site of HIV-1 subtype B isolates, which also encodes for Gag and Pol proteins, classified as either treatment-naïve (TN) or protease inhibitor resistant (PI-R). HIV-1 Gag cleavage site mutations (G435E, K436N, I437V, L449F/V) especially correlated with protease inhibitor resistance mutations, but also Pol cleavage site mutations (D05G, D05S) could be assigned to specific protease resistance profiles. Additionally, two Gag non-cleavage site mutations (S440F, H441P) were observed more often in HIV-1 isolates carrying protease resistance mutations. However, in dual luciferase assays, the frameshift efficiencies of specific clones did not reveal any effect from these mutations. Nevertheless, two patterns of mutations modestly increased the frameshift rates in vitro, but were not specifically accumulating in PI-resistant HIV-1 isolates. In summary, HIV-1 Gag cleavage site mutations were dominantly selected in PI-resistant HIV-1 isolates but also Pol cleavage site mutations influenced resistance profiles in the protease. Additionally, Gag non-cleavage site mutations accumulated in PI-resistant HIV-1 isolates, but were not related to an increased frameshift efficiency.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Medical Microbiology and Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Maraviroc (MVC) is the first licensed antiretroviral drug from the class of coreceptor antagonists. It binds to the host coreceptor CCR5, which is used by the majority of HIV strains in order to infect the human immune cells (Fig. 1). Other HIV isolates use a different coreceptor, the CXCR4. Which receptor is used, is determined in the virus by the Env protein (Fig. 2). Depending on the coreceptor used, the viruses are classified as R5 or X4, respectively. MVC binds to the CCR5 receptor inhibiting the entry of R5 viruses into the target cell. During the course of disease, X4 viruses may emerge and outgrow the R5 viruses. Determination of coreceptor usage (also called tropism) is therefore mandatory prior to administration of MVC, as demanded by EMA and FDA. The studies for MVC efficiency MOTIVATE, MERIT and 1029 have been performed with the Trofile assay from Monogram, San Francisco, U.S.A. This is a high quality assay based on sophisticated recombinant tests. The acceptance for this test for daily routine is rather low outside of the U.S.A., since the European physicians rather tend to work with decentralized expert laboratories, which also provide concomitant resistance testing. These laboratories have undergone several quality assurance evaluations, the last one being presented in 2011. For several years now, we have performed tropism determinations based on sequence analysis from the HIV env-V3 gene region (V3). This region carries enough information to perform a reliable prediction. The genotypic determination of coreceptor usage presents advantages such as: shorter turnover time (equivalent to resistance testing), lower costs, possibility to adapt the results to the patients' needs and possibility of analysing clinical samples with very low or even undetectable viral load (VL), particularly since the number of samples analysed with VL < 1000 copies/μl roughly increased in the last years (Fig. 3). The main steps for tropism testing (Fig. 4) demonstrated in this video: Collection of a blood sample Isolation of the HIV RNA from the plasma and/or HIV proviral DNA from blood mononuclear cells Amplification of the env region Amplification of the V3 region Sequence reaction of the V3 amplicon Purification of the sequencing samples Sequencing the purified samples Sequence editing Sequencing data interpretation and tropism prediction.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
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    ABSTRACT: [This corrects the article on p. e13753 in vol. 5.].
    No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The SnoB study analysed the variability of the integrase (IN) gene of non-B viruses from treatment-naïve patients to determine whether non-B subtypes carry natural resistance mutations to raltegravir (RAL). Plasma viral RNA from 427 patients was gained, and IN sequences were subtyped and screened for subtype-specific highly-variable residues. Seven viruses of different subtypes were phenotypically tested for RAL susceptibility; 359/427 samples could be sequenced. One hundred and seventy samples (47%) were classified as non-B subtypes. No primary RAL resistance-associated mutations (RRAMs) were detected. Certain secondary mutations were found, mostly related to specific non-B subtypes. L74 M was significantly more prevalent in subtype 02_AG, T97A in A and 06_cpx, V151I in 06_cpx, and G163R in 12_BF. Various additional mutations were also detected and could be associated with the subtype too. While K156 N and S230 N were correlated with B subtype, V72I, L74I, T112I, T125A, V201I and T206S were more frequent in certain non-B subtypes. The resistance factors (RF) of 7 viral strains of different subtypes ranged from 1.0 to 1.9. No primary or secondary but subtype-associated additional RRAMs were present. No correlation between RF and additional RRAMs was found. The prevalence of RRAMs was higher in non-B samples. However, the RFs for the analysed non-B subtypes showed lower values to those reported relevant to clinical failure. As the role of baseline secondary and additional mutations on RAL therapy failure is actually not known, baseline IN screening is necessary.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Medical Microbiology and Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: The EuResist expert system is a novel data-driven online system for computing the probability of 8-week success for any given pair of HIV-1 genotype and combination antiretroviral therapy regimen plus optional patient information. The objective of this study was to compare the EuResist system vs. human experts (EVE) for the ability to predict response to treatment. The EuResist system was compared with 10 HIV-1 drug resistance experts for the ability to predict 8-week response to 25 treatment cases derived from the EuResist database validation data set. All current and past patient data were made available to simulate clinical practice. The experts were asked to provide a qualitative and quantitative estimate of the probability of treatment success. There were 15 treatment successes and 10 treatment failures. In the classification task, the number of mislabelled cases was six for EuResist and 6-13 for the human experts [mean±standard deviation (SD) 9.1±1.9]. The accuracy of EuResist was higher than the average for the experts (0.76 vs. 0.64, respectively). The quantitative estimates computed by EuResist were significantly correlated (Pearson r=0.695, P<0.0001) with the mean quantitative estimates provided by the experts. However, the agreement among experts was only moderate (for the classification task, inter-rater κ=0.355; for the quantitative estimation, mean±SD coefficient of variation=55.9±22.4%). With this limited data set, the EuResist engine performed comparably to or better than human experts. The system warrants further investigation as a treatment-decision support tool in clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · HIV Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The high number of Turkish immigrants in the German state North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) compelled us to look for HIV-infected patients with Turkish nationality. In the AREVIR database, we found 127 (107 men, 20 women) Turkish HIV patients living in NRW. In order to investigate transmission clusters and their correlation to gender, nationality and self-reported transmission mode, a phylogenetic analysis including pol gene sequences was performed. Subtype distribution and the number of HIV drug resistance mutations in the Turkish patient group were found to be similar to the proportion in the non-Turkish patients. Great differences were observed in self-reported mode of transmission in the heterosexual Turkish male subgroup. Neighbour-joining tree of pol gene sequences gave indication that 59% of these reported heterosexual transmissions cluster with those of men having sex with men in the database. This is the first study analysing HIV type distribution, drug resistance mutations and transmission mode in a Turkish immigrant population.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Publication Stats

354 Citations
112.65 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008-2015
    • University of Cologne
      • Institute of Virology
      Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2006
    • Center of Advanced European Studies and Research
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany