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What can 35-year-old stool samples tell scientists about HIV/AIDS?

HIV-1 virus. Credit: J Roberto Trujillo / Wikipedia

According to a new study, men infected with HIV in the early stages of the HIV / AIDS pandemic have pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory intestinal microbes before they become HIV positive, compared to men who remained HIV negative. Was relatively abundant.Published in the journal today Microbial flora.. In addition, the men who progressed to AIDS the earliest had the most adverse effects on the composition of the gut microbiota.

This study, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and using patient samples preserved from the onset of the HIV / AIDS pandemic in the early 1980s, is the first study to link pre-infection gut flora composition to HIV sensitivity and progression.

“Before getting infected with HIV, something different from the men who weren’t infected with the virus was happening in the intestines of these men,” said co-lead author Dr. Charles Rinaldo, professor of infectious diseases in Pitt. rice field. .. “Not only are they at increased risk of becoming infected with HIV, but when they become HIV positive, they are also at increased risk of developing AIDS compared to people with a more normal microbiome. This finding is for HIV in men. It helps to understand what underlies susceptibility. Long before antiviral drugs to control the virus came out. It can also affect the cure and prevention of the disease. “

Scientists analyze the stool and Blood sample Donated by a gay man enrolled in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) -sponsored Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) since the spring of 1984 (a few months before HIV was found to be the cause of AIDS). .. Pittsburgh. At that time, AIDS was killing a friend of the participants, but scientists didn’t know why. Therefore, MACS collected fecal samples from volunteers every six months in an attempt to determine the cause. When HIV was discovered, they stopped collecting such samples, but instead of throwing away the samples they already had, the MACS team frozen them at cryogenic temperatures and stored them in bio-repositories.

In 2017, Rinaldo, then chair of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Pitt School of Public Health, was discussing biorepositories with Dr. Shamal Pedada, then chair of the school’s Department of Biostats and expertise. rice field. In the microbiome.

“At that time, a series of new and growing studies brought us to the microbiome. Immune response“Peddada, co-author of the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Schreiber National Institutes of Health and Human Development (NICHD) and now head of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Division, said. I have saved a treasure trove of specimens. Science has advanced and it is now possible to revisit this biorepository to find out what is happening in the male microbiota and immune system before and after being infected with HIV. “

The researchers obtained stored blood and stool samples from 265 participants who were not infected with HIV when they enrolled in MACS. Of the participants, 109 were infected with the virus in the first year. I didn’t do the rest.

Dr. Yue Chen, associate professor and co-lead author of Pitt Public Health, processed a 35-year-old stool sample with the help of Dr. Alison Morris (Chairman of Lung, Allergy, and Emergency Medicine). pit. Next is NICHD Fellow and co-lead author Huang Lin, Ph.D. Analyzed the data and used the novel to determine the families and species of microorganisms inhabiting the intestines of the participants and how the abundance of these microorganisms differed between the samples. A statistical method he developed as part of his PhD. Pitt Public Health dissertation work under the supervision of Peddada at the Faculty of Biostatistics.

Participants infected with HIV are relatively abundant Prevotella stercorea, Bacteria that promote inflammation, and 4 low levels Bacteroides Species known to be involved in the immune response.

At the same time, Chen was also investigating markers of inflammation in the blood of participants. She finally found that participants who were infected with HIV had higher levels of pre-infection inflammation than those who were not infected with HIV.

Scientists say that the gut microbiota worsens the immune response, promotes inflammation, makes men with an unfavorable microbiota profile more susceptible to HIV, and the disease is serious before antiretroviral therapy exists. I believe that it is no longer possible to prevent the progression to AIDS.

“This kind of research has never been done in HIV, as far as our team knows,” Rinaldo said. “If the gut flora thus affects a person’s susceptibility to HIV, it may be doing the same for other pathogens such as COVID-19.”

Scientists said further research is needed before using the findings to develop specific guidance for those who are trying to improve the microbiome to prevent HIV infection.

“But in general, we know that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber usually results in a healthier intestine. Microbial flora“I would like to tell people who are trying to improve their health to consider improving their diet,” Pedada said.

Additional authors are Mariah Cole, MS, Jeremy Martinson, D. Phil. , Adam Fitch, MS, Barbara Methé, Ph.D. , And Vatsala Rangachar Srinivasa, MPH, all Pitt at the time of the survey. Dr. Heather McKay and Dr. Joseph Margorick of Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Matthew Mimiaga, University of California, Los Angeles.


The COVID-19 test kit can also measure the oral microflora in saliva


For more information:
Characteristic changes in the gut flora are associated with increased susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in MSM. Microbial flora, 2021.

Quote: What can a 35 year old fecal sample tell scientists about HIV / AIDS? (December 8, 2021) Obtained December 8, 2021 from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-12-year-old-stool-samples-scientists-hivaids.html

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