Comparison of the diversity of the vaginal microbiota in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women with or without bacterial vaginosis

J Infect Dis. 2008 Oct 15;198(8):1131-40. doi: 10.1086/591942.


Background: Whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is associated with a change in the diversity of genital microbiota in women was investigated.

Methods: Amplicon length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) analysis and pyrosequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene were used to analyze the diversity of the microbiota in HIV-positive (HIV(+)) and HIV-negative (HIV(-)) women with or without bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Results: LH-PCR analysis revealed significantly more microbiota diversity in BV-positive (BV(+)) women than in BV-negative (BV(-)) women, but no significant difference was noted between HIV(+) women and HIV(-) women. Pyrosequencing revealed that Lactobacillus organisms constituted a median of 96% of the bacteria in BV(-) women. BV(+) women had a significantly higher number of taxa found at > or =1% of the total genital microbiota (median, 11 taxa). Common taxa in BV(+) women were Prevotella, Megasphaera, Gardnerella, Coriobacterineae, Lachnospira, and Sneathia. There was a trend (P = .07) toward the presence of a higher number of taxa in HIV(+)BV(+) women than in HIV(-)BV(+) women. Propionibacterineae, Citrobacter, and Anaerococcus were the taxa found only in HIV(+) women (P < .05).

Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that both LH-PCR analysis and pyrosequencing differentiated microbiota in BV(+) women from that in BV(-) women and that pyrosequencing indicated a trend toward increased diversity in BV(+)HIV(+) women, suggesting that HIV infection is associated with changes in the diversity of genital microbiota.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / virology
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / classification
  • Lactobacillus / genetics
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*
  • Vagina / microbiology*
  • Vagina / virology
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial* / complications
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial* / microbiology


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S