CHAIN (Collaborative HIV and Anti-HIV Drug Resistance Network)

What is CHAIN?

CHAIN is a large scale integrating project aimed to effectively and durably combat new and existing anti-HIV drug resistance in clinical settings, with a special emphasis on Eastern Europe and in heavily affected resource-poor regions in Africa.


The current European research landscape in HIV drug resistance is too fragmented to effectively contribute to the fight against spread of anti-HIV resistance. New insights into the prevalence and transmission of HIV-resistant strains in Europe in various cohort studies and the basic underlying mechanisms causing resistance and their implications for novel antiviral drugs are being developed in different networks. Structural integration of these efforts and knowledge among centres of excellence on a pan-European scale is the next crucial step. Only through a powerful pooling of knowledge, resources and tools can decisive steps against the problem of anti-HIV resistance be achieved.

Aims and expected results

The most urgent aim is to close the gaps in our current knowledge on resistance to existing drugs and to identify novel resistance mechanisms to new drugs, preventing further development and spread of HIV.

Other aims include:

  • the development and validation of new and common laboratory tools for prediction and measurement of HIV drug resistance;
  • improved understanding of the clinical implications of drug resistance, with the development of optimal management strategies for transmitted and acquired HIV drug resistance, reducing the incidence and impact at population and patient level;
  • a sustainable evidence base for better control of the epidemic and management of infected individuals;
  • incorporation of HIV gene sequence data into national HIV reporting structures;
  • translation of clinical evidence into effective strategies to limit the emergence and transmission of HIV drug resistance into evidence-based recommendations for public health and regulatory authorities;
  • creation of a level playing field in the European scientific landscape in HIV resistance, and in scientific and clinical expertise in the study and management of HIV drug resistance.

Potential applications

The identification of novel resistance mechanisms to new drugs will prevent further development and spread of anti-HIV drug resistance. The CHAIN consortium is developing new laboratory tools to predict and measure anti-HIV drug resistance, and management strategies are being developed for reducing its impact and incidence.

HIV gene sequence data will be incorporated into national HIV reporting structures and evidence-based recommendations will also be made for public health and regulatory authorities on limiting of emergence and transmission of anti-HIV drug resistance.


Have a look at the Final CHAIN meeting Report here.

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