PURPOSE OF REVIEW
HIV-1 drug resistance (HIV DR) testing is routinely performed by genotyping plasma viruses using Sanger population sequencing. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is increasingly replacing standardized Sanger sequencing. This opens up new opportunities, but also brings challenges.
The number of NGS applications and protocols for HIV DR testing is increasing. All of them are noninferior to Sanger sequencing when comparing NGS-derived consensus sequences to Sanger sequencing-derived sequences. In addition, NGS enables high-throughput sequencing of near full-length HIV-1 genomes and detection of low-abundance drug-resistant HIV-1 variants, although their clinical implications need further investigation. Several groups have defined remaining challenges in implementing NGS protocols for HIV-1 resistance testing. Some of them are already being addressed. One of the most important needs is quality management and consequently, if possible, standardization.
The use of NGS technologies on HIV DR testing will allow unprecedented insights into genomic structures of virus populations that may be of immediate relevance to both clinical and research areas such as personalized antiretroviral treatment. Efforts continue to tackle the remaining challenges in NGS-based HIV DR testing.