Important pharmacogenomic aspects in the management of HIV/AIDS
In managing HIV/AIDS with highly active antiretroviral agents, the historical therapeutic aim remains to maintain the plasma concentrations at a level above the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) required for 50% inhibition in viral replication. Concentration dependent toxicity is often observed in patients with elevated drug exposure and high peak plasma levels in lieu of accurately calculated drug dosages. Similarly low plasma concentrations are frequently witnessed in individuals receiving adequate dosage regimens. Pharmacogenetic variations in drug metabolizing enzymes may contribute to this phenomenon. Over the last decade, knowledge about the role of pharmacogenetics in the treatment and prediction of ARV plasma levels have increased significantly. However, the extent of these genetic variations remain largely unknown in the South African population, which has sparked a renewed enthusiasm for local pharmacogenetic studies.