OBJECTIVE: We investigated the impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) on the gut microbiota of children.
DESIGN: This cross-sectional study investigated the gut microbiota of children with and without HIV.
METHODS: We collected fecal samples from 59 children with HIV (29 treated with ART [ART(+)] and 30 without ART [HIV(+)]) and 20 children without HIV [HIV(-)] in Vietnam. We performed quantitative RT-PCR to detect 14 representative intestinal bacteria targeting 16S/23S rRNA molecules. We also collected the blood samples for immunological analyses.
RESULTS: In spearman's correlation analyses, no significant correlation between the number of dominant bacteria and age was found among children in the HIV(-) group. However, the number of sub-dominant bacteria, including Streptococcus, Enterococcus, and Enterobacteriaceae, positively correlated with age in the HIV(-) group, but not in the HIV(+) group. In the HIV(+) group, Clostridium coccoides group positively associated with the CD4+ cell count and its subsets. In the ART(+) group, Staphylococcus and C. perfringens positively correlated with CD4+ cells and their subsets and negatively with activated CD8+ cells. C. coccoides group and Bacteroides fragilis group were associated with regulatory T-cell counts. In multiple linear regression analyses, ART duration was independently associated with the number of C. perfringens, and Th17 cell count with the number of Staphylococcus in the ART(+) group.
CONCLUSIONS: HIV infection and ART may influence sub-dominant gut bacteria, directly or indirectly, in association with immune status in children with HIV.
- Age Factors
- Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
- Child, Preschool
- Gastrointestinal Microbiome
- HIV Infections/drug therapy
- Linear Models
- Principal Component Analysis
- Staphylococcus/drug effects
- Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination/pharmacology