Southern African Treatment Resistance Network (SATuRN) RegaDB HIV drug resistance and clinical management database : supporting patient management, surveillance and research in southern Africa

04 Jun 2015

Substantial amounts of data have been generated from patient management and academic exercises designed to better understand the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic and design interventions to control it. A number of specialized databases have been designed to manage huge data sets from HIV cohort, vaccine, host genomic and drug resistance studies. Besides databases from cohort studies, most of the online databases contain limited curated data and are thus sequence repositories. HIV drug resistance has been shown to have a great potential to derail the progress made thus far through antiretroviral therapy. Thus, a lot of resources have been invested in generating drug resistance data for patient management and surveillance purposes. Unfortunately, most of the data currently available relate to subtype B even though >60% of the epidemic is caused by HIV-1 subtype C. A consortium of clinicians, scientists, public health experts and policy markers working in southern Africa came together and formed a network, the Southern African Treatment and Resistance Network (SATuRN), with the aim of increasing curated HIV-1 subtype C and tuberculosis drug resistance data. This article describes the HIV-1 data curation process using the SATuRN Rega database. The data curation is a manual and time-consuming process done by clinical, laboratory and data curation specialists. Access to the highly curated data sets is through applications that are reviewed by the SATuRN executive committee. Examples of research outputs from the analysis of the curated data include trends in the level of transmitted drug resistance in South Africa, analysis of the levels of acquired resistance among patients failing therapy and factors associated with the absence of genotypic evidence of drug resistance among patients failing therapy. All these studies have been important for informing first- and second-line therapy. This database is a free password-protected open source database available on