What is the mechanism of treatment resistance in HIV infection?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Upon entering the cell, the protease enzyme produces the reverse transcriptase and ribonuclease (RNAse) H enzymes responsible for synthesizing the single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules and primers necessary to produce the complementary DNA strand. Because reverse transcriptase lacks proofreading capacity, considerable base-to-base variability results. The high mutation rate, combined with the high reproductive rate, results in substantial evolution and subsequent resistance to treatment.


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