Microbiome alterations in HIV infection a review

Brett Williams, Alan Landay, Rachel M. Presti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Recent developments in molecular techniques have allowed researchers to identify previously uncultured organisms, which has propelled a vast expansion of our knowledge regarding our commensal microbiota. Interest in the microbiome specific to HIV grew from earlier findings suggesting that bacterial translocation from the intestines is the cause of persistent immune activation despite effective viral suppression with antiretroviral therapy (ART). Studies of SIV infected primates have demonstrated that Proteobacteria preferentially translocate and that mucosal immunity can be restored with probiotics. Pathogenic SIV infection results in a massive expansion of the virome, whereas non-pathogenic SIV infection does not. Human HIV infected cohorts have been shown to have microbiota distinctive from that of HIV negative controls and efforts to restore the intestinal microbiome via probiotics have often had positive results on host markers. The microbiota of the genital tract may play a significant role in acquisition and transmission of HIV. Modification of commensal microbial communities likely represents an important therapeutic adjunct to treatment of HIV. Here we review the literature regarding human microbiome in HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-651
Number of pages7
JournalCellular Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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