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The gut microbiome and Subclinical herpesvirus coinfection in HIV infection

Hwang, Juchul (2018) The gut microbiome and Subclinical herpesvirus coinfection in HIV infection. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Herpesvirus co-infection in HIV-infected individuals has been associated with increased immune activation in HIV infection. However, the issue of how it shapes and impacts immune system, or vice versa, has not been established yet.
Objective: To examine whether the alteration of microbial composition is associated with herpesvirus shedding in virally-suppressed HIV-infected individuals.
Methods: Blood, throat washing, semen, urine, and stool samples were obtained from virally-suppressed HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) and 12 age-matched HIV-uninfected MSM from Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Herpesvirus shedding was measured by real-time PCR in all samples, and soluble markers of immune activation were measured by ELISA at four different time points over 24 weeks. Gut microbial profiles were evaluated by Illumina-based sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA gene using stool samples. PERMANOVA was performed to assess the association of microbial profiles with herpesvirus shedding rates at five body compartments and soluble immune markers.
Results: A trend was observed between the seminal herpesvirus shedding rate and gut microbial profiles although not significant. At the genus level, the seminal shedding rate positively correlated with the relative abundance of Blautia, and negatively correlated with Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Blautia positively correlated with plasma C-reactive protein level. No shedding rates from other body sites were associated with microbial profiles or immune markers.
Conclusion: We found a moderate evidence that gut microbial alteration is associated between herpesvirus shedding, but we did not find any evidence that it is associated with persistent immune activation. Therefore, future studies are needed to fully assess the role of microbiome in viral shedding and inflammation.
Public Health Significance: Despite the advent of effective combination of antiretroviral therapy, the overall life expectancy of HIV-infected individuals is shorter than the general population because of their high prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Thus, it is important to investigate the factors that impact the course of HIV disease and chronic immune activation.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hwang, Juchuljuh63@pitt.edujuh630000-0002-0486-6560
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFinegold, Daviddnf@pitt.edudnf@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberMorris, Alisonmorrisa@upmc.edumorrisa@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIED
Date: 23 July 2018
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 38
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Degree: MD - Doctor of Medicine
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 19:47
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 19:47


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