Maternal HIV infection influences the microbiome of HIV-uninfected infants

Sci Transl Med. 2016 Jul 27;8(349):349ra100. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf5103.


More than 1 million HIV-exposed, uninfected infants are born annually to HIV-positive mothers worldwide. This growing population of infants experiences twice the mortality of HIV-unexposed infants. We found that although there were very few differences seen in the microbiomes of mothers with and without HIV infection, maternal HIV infection was associated with changes in the microbiome of HIV-exposed, uninfected infants. Furthermore, we observed that human breast milk oligosaccharides were associated with bacterial species in the infant microbiome. The disruption of the infant's microbiome associated with maternal HIV infection may contribute to the increased morbidity and mortality of HIV-exposed, uninfected infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / microbiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Microbiota / physiology*
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Mothers
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Oligosaccharides