Specific prebiotics modulate gut microbiota and immune activation in HAART-naive HIV-infected adults: results of the "COPA" pilot randomized trial

Mucosal Immunol. 2011 Sep;4(5):554-63. doi: 10.1038/mi.2011.15. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Intestinal mucosal immune system is an early target for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, resulting in CD4(+) T-cell depletion, deterioration of gut lining, and fecal microbiota composition. We evaluated the effects of a prebiotic oligosaccharide mixture in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-naive HIV-1-infected adults. In a pilot double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 57 HAART-naive HIV-1-infected patients received a unique oligosaccharide mixture (15 or 30 g short chain galactooligosaccharides/long chain fructooligosaccharides/pectin hydrolysate-derived acidic oligosaccharides (scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS) daily) or a placebo for 12 weeks. Microbiota composition improved significantly with increased bifidobacteria, decreased Clostridium coccoides/Eubacterium rectale cluster, and decreased pathogenic Clostridium lituseburense/Clostridium histolyticum group levels upon prebiotic supplementation. In addition, a reduction of soluble CD14 (sCD14), activated CD4(+)/CD25(+) T cells, and significantly increased natural killer (NK) cell activity when compared with control group were seen in the treatment group. The results of this pilot trial highly significantly show that dietary supplementation with a prebiotic oligosaccharide mixture results in improvement of the gut microbiota composition, reduction of sCD14, CD4(+) T-cell activation (CD25), and improved NK cell activity in HAART-naive HIV-infected individuals.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • HIV / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Metagenome*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prebiotics* / adverse effects


  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Prebiotics

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN30730587