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BMC Medicine

, 14:83

Clinical insights into the human microbiome


HIV-AIDS causes severe dysfunction of the immune system through CD4+ T cell depletion, leading to dysregulation of both the adaptive and innate immune arms. A primary target for viral infection is the gastrointestinal tract, which is a reservoir of CD4+ T cells. In addition to being a major immune hub, the human gastrointestinal tract harbors trillions of commensal microorganisms, the microbiota, which have recently been shown to play critical roles in health. Alterations in the composition and function of microbiota have been implicated in a variety of ‘multi-factorial’ disorders, including infectious, autoimmune, metabolic, and neoplastic disorders. It is widely accepted that, in addition to its direct role in altering the gastrointestinal CD4+ T cell compartment, HIV infection is characterized by gut microbiota compositional and functional changes. Herein, we review such alterations and discuss their potential local and systemic effects on the HIV-positive host, as well as potential roles of novel microbiota-targeting treatments in modulating HIV progression and associated adverse systemic manifestations.

KeywordsMicrobiota Dysbiosis Gastrointestinal tract AIDS HIV Anti-retroviral therapy CD4+ T cells  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Gili Zilberman-Schapira - Niv Zmora - Shlomik Itav - Stavros Bashiardes - Hila Elinav - Eran Elinav


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