HIV-1 transmitted drug resistance (TDR) could reverse the gains of antiretroviral rollout. To ensure that current
first-line therapies remain effective, TDR levels in recently infected treatment-naive patients need to be monitored.
A literature review and data mining exercise was carried out to determine the temporal trends in TDR in South
Africa. In addition, 72 sequences from seroconvertors identified from Africa Centre’s 2010 HIV surveillance round
were also examined for TDR. Publicly available data on TDR were retrieved from GenBank, curated in RegaDB,
and analyzed using the Calibrated Population Resistance Program. There was no evidence of TDR from the 2010
rural KwaZulu Natal samples. Ten datasets with a total of 1618 sequences collected between 2000 and 2010 were
pooled to provide a temporal analysis of TDR. The year with the highest TDR rate was 2002 [6.67%, 95% confidence
interval (CI): 3.09–13.79%; n = 6/90]. After 2002, TDR levels returned to <5% (WHO low-level threshold) and
showed no statistically significant increase in the interval between 2002 and 2010. The most common mutations
were associated with NNRTI resistance, K103N, followed by Y181C and Y188C/L. Five sequences had multiple
resistance mutations associated with NNRTI resistance. There is no evidence of TDR in rural KwaZulu-Natal. TDR
levels in South Africa have remained low following a downward trend since 2003. Continuous vigilance in
monitoring of TDR is needed as more patients are initiated and maintained onto antiretroviral therapy.