Comparing mutational pathways to lopinavir resistance in HIV-1 subtypes B versus C
Although combination antiretoviral therapies seem to be effective at controlling HIV-1 infections regardless of the viral subtype, there is increasing evidence for subtype-specific drug resistance mutations. The order and rates at which resistance mutations accumulate in different subtypes also remain poorly understood. Here, we present a methodology for the comparison of mutational pathways in different HIV-1 subtypes, based on Hidden Conjunctive Bayesian Networks (H-CBN), a probabilistic
... probabilistic model for inferring mutational pathways from cross-sectional genotype data. We introduce a Monte Carlo sampling scheme for learning H-CBN models on a large number of resistance mutations and develop a statistical test to assess differences in the inferred mutational pathways between two groups. We apply this method to the temporal progression of mutations conferring resistance to the protease inhibitor lopinavir in a large cross-sectional data set of South African individuals living with HIV-1 subtype C, as well as a genotype data set of subtype B infections derived from the Stanford HIV Drug Resistance Database and the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. We find strong support for different initial mutational events in the protease, namely at residue 46 in subtype B and at residue 82 in subtype C. Our results also show that mutations can accumulate along various alternative paths within subtypes, as opposed to a unique total temporal ordering. Furthermore, the maximum likelihood mutational networks for subtypes B and C share only 7 edges (Jaccard distance 0.802) and imply many different evolutionary pathways. Beyond HIV drug resistance, the statistical methodology is applicable more generally for the comparison of inferred mutational pathways between any two groups.