Background: Microbially mediated oral diseases can signal underlying HIV/AIDS progression in HIV-infected adults. The role of the oral microbiota in HIV-infected youth is not known. The Adolescent Master Protocol of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study is a longitudinal study of perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV) and HIV-exposed, uninfected (PHEU) youth. We compared oral microbiome levels and associations with caries or periodontitis in 154 PHIV and 100 PHEU youth.
Results: Species richness and alpha diversity differed little between PHIV and PHEU youth. Group differences in average counts met the significance threshold for six taxa; two Corynebacterium species were lower in PHIV and met thresholds for noteworthiness. Several known periodontitis-associated organisms (Prevotella nigrescens, Tannerella forsythia, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, and Filifactor alocis) exhibited expected associations with periodontitis in PHEU youth, associations not observed in PHIV youth. In both groups, odds of caries increased with counts of taxa in four genera, Streptococcus, Scardovia, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus.
Conclusions: The microbiomes of PHIV and PHEU youth were similar, although PHIV youth seemed to have fewer "health"-associated taxa such as Corynebacterium species. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that HIV infection, or its treatment, may contribute to oral dysbiosis.
Keywords: Corynebacterium; Oral microbiome; Pediatric; Perinatally infected HIV.