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Effect of Risky Sexual Behavior and Associated Gut Microbiome Changes on Susceptibility to HIV in MSM

Price, Meaghan S. (2022) Effect of Risky Sexual Behavior and Associated Gut Microbiome Changes on Susceptibility to HIV in MSM. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) have been disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Receptive anal intercourse is a prominent risk factor for HIV-1 seroconversion among MSM, and its impact on the MSM-associated gut microbiome and HIV susceptibility is of clinical and public health interest. This study aims to evaluate the association between receptive anal intercourse and gut-microbiome alterations by analyzing data from the 1984/1985 phase of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).
Methods: Sexual behavior data were used to cluster 241 MACS participants into five groups based on the number of partners for receptive anal intercourse (G1: 0, G2: 1, G3: 2-3, G4: 4-8, G5: 9+). Fecal samples from study participants were collected before HIV infection and sequenced for gut microbiome analysis. Microbial alpha diversity and beta diversity were analyzed using QIIME. Microbial differential abundance was analyzed using ANCOM-BC. Subsequent HIV seroconversion rates among groups were analyzed by Chi-square.
Results: For gut microbiome beta diversity, G3 was statistically different compared to G1 at the family and genus levels (p-value < 0.05). At the microbial genus level, G5 showed significantly higher levels of Succinivibrio, Prevotella, Desulfovibrio, Cantenibacterium, and Mogibacterium, and significantly lower levels of Alistipes and Akkermansia (adjusted p-value < 0.05) compared to G1. At the species level, G5 showed significantly higher levels of P. stercorrea, and significantly lower levels of A. putredinis, C. spiroforme, R. torques, and A. muciphila (adjusted p-value < 0.05) compared to G1. Subsequent HIV seroconversion rates were significantly different among sexual behaviors groups (G1: 5%, G2: 30%, G3: 52%, G4: 50%, and G5: 74%, (p-value < 0.01)).
Conclusion: Risky sexual behaviors were associated with increased HIV seroconversion rates and gut-microbiome changes, with changes in abundance of gut bacteria with pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. This suggests that receptive anal intercourse leads to pathogenic changes in the microbiome, increasing susceptibility to HIV infection in MSM.
Public health significance: Receptive anal intercourse may increase the risk of HIV-1 infection among MSM due to pathogenic impacts on the gut microbiome. The identification of such risk will allow for accurate public health guidance and policy for MSM.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Price, Meaghan S.msp68@pitt.edumsp68
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorChen, Yuecheny@pitt.educheny
Committee MemberRinaldo, Charlesrinaldo@pitt.edurinaldo
Committee MemberMartinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.edujmartins
Committee MemberPeddada,
Committee MemberLin,
Date: 17 May 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 April 2022
Approval Date: 17 May 2022
Submission Date: 29 April 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 50
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gut Microbiome, HIV, MSM, receptive anal sex
Date Deposited: 17 May 2022 15:19
Last Modified: 17 May 2022 15:19


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