Understanding gut microbiota alterations associated with HIV infection and factors that drive these alterations may help explain gut-linked diseases prevalent with HIV. 16S rRNA sequencing of feces from HIV-infected individuals revealed that HIV infection is associated with highly characteristic gut community changes, and antiretroviral therapy does not consistently restore the microbiota to an HIV-negative state. Despite the chronic gut inflammation characteristic of HIV infection, the associated microbiota showed limited similarity with other inflammatory states and instead showed increased, rather than decreased, diversity. Meta-analysis revealed that the microbiota of HIV-infected individuals in the U.S. was most similar to a Prevotella-rich community composition typically observed in healthy individuals in agrarian cultures of Malawi and Venezuela and related to that of U.S. individuals with carbohydrate-rich, protein- and fat-poor diets. By evaluating innate and adaptive immune responses to lysates from bacteria that differ with HIV, we explore the functional drivers of these compositional differences.
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