The potential risks of probiotics among HIV-infected persons: Bacteraemia due to Lactobacillus acidophilus and review of the literature

Int J STD AIDS. 2016 Nov;27(13):1223-1230. doi: 10.1177/0956462415590725. Epub 2015 Jun 30.


Lactobacillus sp. are commensal organisms that are increasingly reported to cause invasive infections among immunosuppressed persons. However, few data exist regarding the occurrence and risk factors of these infections among HIV-infected persons. Further, the safety of products that contain lactobacilli (e.g. probiotics) in certain populations, including those with HIV/AIDS, is unclear. We report a case of Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteraemia in a patient with AIDS temporally related to excessive consumption of probiotic-enriched yogurt, and provide a comprehensive review of the literature of Lactobacillus sp. infections among HIV-infected persons.

Keywords: HIV; Lactobacillus; invasive infections; lactobacillemia; probiotics; review; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amoxicillin / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Clavulanic Acid / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / isolation & purification*
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / pathogenicity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probiotics / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Clavulanic Acid
  • Amoxicillin