The Opinion article by S. Karim
and Q. Karim laments the lack of
an effective conduit between
South Africa's AIDS research and
its prevention and treatment
policies and programmes (Nature
463, 733?734; 2010). We would
like to draw attention to an HIV-1
drug-resistance database, a
scientific resource for regional and
global HIV research that will
enhance surveillance programmes
in southern Africa.
The database was established
by investigators from the
Southern African Treatment and
Resistance Network (SATuRN),
in collaboration with researchers
from the United States and Europe.
SATuRN will provide national
departments of health with highquality,
to guide delivery of antiretroviral
therapy, helping to ensure the
long-term success of antiretroviral
As part of this network, we have
installed a South African mirror of
the Stanford HIV Drug Resistance
Database (HIVDB). This mirror
be continuously updated and
released to local investigators in
a curated and readily analysable
form, in the context of more than
120,000 sequences already in the
Stanford HIVDB. Neighbouring
countries that share subtype C as
the predominant virus (the strain
fuelling southern Africa'sAIDS
epidemic) are also providing data.
The mirror will ensure that
subtype-C sequences are
analysed according to standard
developed by Stanford HIVDB.
It will help patient management,
allowing quick identification of
resistant strains and systematic
tracking both of resistance
patterns and of prevalence
and distribution of resistance
mutations within different
population groups. It will inform
decisions about new drugs,
diagnostics and treatment
strategies in southern Africa.
Already, the data show that
resistance in newly infected
individuals is still very low (under
5%), as is the accumulation of
that can limit the effectiveness of
second-line antiretroviral therapy.
Investigators, clinicians and
laboratories wishing to take part in
the collaboration should contact
PRETORIA - We would like to draw attention to an HIV-1 drug resistance database, a scientific resource for regional and global HIV research that will enhance surveillance programmes in southern Africa.The database was established by investigators from the Southern African Treatment and Resistance Network (SATuRN), in collaboration with researchers from the United States & Europe. SAT- uRN will provide national de- partments of health with high quality, up-to-date information to guide delivery of antiretroviral ther- apy, helping to ensure the long -term success of antiretroviral treatment programmes.
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, 24-26 FEB 2012 - A small, highly specialized multidisciplinary team of doctors and statisticians from South Africa, Botswana, the USA and the UK will meet in Durban this weekend with the express purpose of pooling their resources, knowledge and expertise in an attempt to improve understanding the problem of HIV drug resistance in southern Africa.
During July, the acclaimed researcher, Dr Tulio de Oliveira from the Southern African Treatment Research Network (SATuRN), was invited to CAPRISA to visit CAPRISA's eThekwini Clinical Research Site. He also presented latest developments on affordable HIV and TB drug resistance testing and open access, public, drug resistance databases to CAPRISA's management team, followed by discussions on possible opportunities for collaboration.
Drug resistance poses significant potential problems in the fight against HIV and TB, but little is known about how best to tackle it. Dr Tulio de Oliveira heads a network that aims to fill this knowledge gap.