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Pre and post HIV seroconversion gut microbiome in HIV-infected individuals

Cole, Mariah (2017) Pre and post HIV seroconversion gut microbiome in HIV-infected individuals. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Intensive research on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is being conducted in efforts to understand HIV pathogenesis. In the past decade, the development of innovative bioinformatics technology has focused research on the human gut microbiome and its potential role in the pathogenesis of HIV. Recent research has shown that gut microbial imbalance, or dysbiosis, may lead to microbial translocation and chronic inflammation in HIV-infected individuals, further enhancing HIV progression, potentially towards the development of AIDS. Gut microbiota in untreated men who have sex with men (MSM) with HIV can have an over-representation of pro-inflammatory Proteobacteria, associated with mucosal and systemic immune activation. My research aims to investigate the gut microbiome of 16 untreated HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) at time-points that are ~6 months pre-seroconversion and ~6 months post-seroconversion to assess bacterial changes that may make individuals more susceptible to the development of AIDS, using Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) fecal samples from 1984-1985. Using high throughput sequencing technology, bacterial 16s rRNA genes were amplified, sequenced, and then clustered into operational taxonomic units using QIIME software. Results showed that fecal samples from both non-HIV infected controls and HIV-infected MSM in 1984-85 had dominant taxa from the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Both visits non-infected controls showed a relative abundance of Firmicutes (35.3%), Bacteroidetes (56%) and Proteobacteria (5.53%); similarly, both visits seroconverters showed a relative abundance of Firmicutes (39.93%) Bacteroidetes (50.58%), and Proteobacteria (5.41)%). Genera level abundance of seroconverters (SC) both visits vs non-HIV infected controls both visits showed an increase in Prevotella (51.2% SC; 38% controls) and a decrease in Bacteroides (14.1% SC; 27.11% controls). These results suggest that an increase in Prevotella within the six month post-seroconversion to HIV, with microbial translocation of Prevotella or its metabolites, could be a factor in subsequent development of AIDS. Alpha diversity and beta diversity are currently being analyzed to provide the statistical significance of these findings. This pilot study sets a strong foundation for building further research in the MACS assessing the effects of the microbiome in HIV infection. This study is important for public health because it will help further develop an understanding of and how microbial composition and microbial products influence the pathogenesis of progressive HIV infection; potentially formulating improved ancillary treatments to improve the long-term health of HIV infected persons on ART.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cole, MariahMLC94@pitt.eduMLC94
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Morris, Alisonmorrisa@upmc
Martinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.edujmartins
Rinaldo, Charlesrinaldo@pitt.edurinaldo
Date: 25 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 August 2017
Approval Date: 25 September 2017
Submission Date: 24 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 54
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIV and microbiome, Microbiome, HIV Pre and Post, Bioinformatics, QIIME
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2017 15:58
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2017 15:58


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