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HIV and aging

role of the microbiome

Desai, Seema N.; Landay, Alan L.

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: January 2018 - Volume 13 - Issue 1 - p 22–27
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000433
THE MICROBIOME IN HIV: Edited by Alan L. Landay, James G. Kublin and Seema N. Desai

Purpose of review The purpose of this article is to review age-associated alterations in microbiota composition, diversity and functional features in context of immune senescence, chronic inflammation and comorbidities associated with HIV infection. The overall goal is to assess whether modulating the microbiome will likely improve resilience of the immune system and augment return to health.

Recent findings Alteration in the gut microbiota composition diversity and function occur in HIV and aging. Importantly, butyrate producing bacteria are reduced in both HIV and aging individuals. There is increasing relevance of studying metabolomics in the context of HIV-associated non-AIDS comorbidities and aging. Interventional prospects of probiotics, prebiotics and fecal microbiota transplantation in HIV and aging will provide novel therapeutic approaches.

Summary Increasing evidence suggests a significant link in changes in the composition, diversity and functional aspects of intestinal microbiome with normal aging and HIV infection. Data on association of metabolites produced by the microbiome with HIV-associated non-AIDS comorbidities is mounting. The impact of the microbiome alterations on inflammation, immune and organ senescence and mechanisms by which bio-behavioral pathways will exacerbate these outcomes needs to be further evaluated.

Department of Immunology/Microbiology, RUSH University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence to Seema N. Desai, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology/Microbiology, RUSH University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. E-mail:

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