Gut Microbiome Changes Associated With HIV Infection and Sexual Orientation

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Zhou J, Zhang Y, Cui P, Luo L, Chen H, Liang B, Jiang J, Ning C, Tian L, Zhong X, Ye L, Liang H, Huang J
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
Background: Many studies have explored changes in the gut microbiome associated with HIV infection, but the consistent pattern of changes has not been clarified. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are very likely to be an independent influencing factor of the gut microbiome, but relevant research is still lacking. Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis by screening 12 published studies of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing of gut microbiomes related to HIV/AIDS (six of these studies contain data that is relevant and available to MSM) from NCBI and EBI databases. The analysis of gut microbiomes related to HIV infection status and MSM status included 1,288 samples (HIV-positive (HIV+) individuals, n = 744; HIV-negative (HIV-) individuals, n = 544) and 632 samples (MSM, n = 328; non-MSM, n = 304), respectively. The alpha diversity indexes, beta diversity indexes, differentially enriched genera, differentially enriched species, and differentially enriched Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) functional pathways related to gut microbiomes were calculated. Finally, the overall trend of the above indicators was evaluated. Results: Our results indicate that HIV+ status is associated with decreased alpha diversity of the gut microbiome. MSM status is an important factor that affects the study of HIV-related gut microbiomes; that is, MSM are associated with alpha diversity changes in the gut microbiome regardless of HIV infection, and the changes in the gut microbiome composition of MSM are more significant than those of HIV+ individuals. A consistent change in Bacteroides caccae, Bacteroides ovatus, Bacteroides uniformis, and Prevotella stercorea was found in HIV+ individuals and MSM. The differential expression of the gut microbiome may be accompanied by changes in functional pathways of carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, and lipid Metabolism. Conclusions: This study shows that the changes in the gut microbiome are related to HIV and MSM status. Importantly, MSM status may have a far greater impact on the gut microbiome than HIV status.