Composition of gut microbiota of children and adolescents with perinatal HIV infection taking antiretroviral therapy in Zimbabwe
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Infectious Diseases. 2019, 1-10. 10.1093/infdis/jiz473
Background Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection causes impairment of the gastrointestinal barrier, with substantial depletion of CD4+ T cells in the gut. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) restores CD4+ counts and may have beneficial effects on gut microbiota in adults. Little is known about effect of long-term ART on gut microbiome in HIV-infected children. We investigated composition of gut microbiota in HIV-infected and -uninfected children and assessed associations between gut microbiota and patient characteristics. Methods In a cross-sectional study, rectal swabs were collected from 177 HIV-infected and 103 HIV-uninfected controls. Gut microbial composition was explored using 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid sequencing. Results Human immunodeficiency virus-infected children had significantly lower alpha-diversity and higher beta-diversity compared to HIV-uninfected. No association was observed between microbiome diversity and CD4+ T-cell count, HIV viral load, or HIV-associated chronic lung disease. We found enriched levels of Corynebacterium (P < .01), Finegoldia (P < .01), and Anaerococcus (P < .01) in HIV-infected participants and enrichment of Enterobacteriaceae (P = .02) in participants with low CD4+ counts (<400 cells/mm3). Prolonged ART-treatment (≥10 years) was significantly associated with a richer gut microbiota by alpha diversity. Conclusions Human immunodeficiency virus-infected children have altered gut microbiota. Prolonged ART may restore the richness of the microbiota closer to that of HIV-uninfected children.