by Kristin Neumann

How the Gut microbiome affects outcomes in HIV

How the Gut microbiome affects outcomes in HIV

Aging and HIV Infection linked with changes in the gut microbiome:

U.S. researchers just recently found out that aging and HIV is associated with reduced bacterial diversity and dysbiosis in the gut. Especially the important butyrate producing bacteria are reduced. Butyrate would normally lower the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus prevent inflammation. Researchers have noted specific reductions in bifidobacteriaFaecalibacterium prausnitzii, and Clostridium cluster IV over time in old patients. Factors that may influence this change are nutritional status, antibiotic use, and chronic use of prescription medications including statins.

How exactly HIV infection changes the gut microbiome is still under investigation. Researchers have conducted numerous studies to determine if prebiotic and probiotic interventions might improve health in individuals with HIV, many of which reported positive effects. The authors indicated that clinicians should counsel individuals with HIV to avoid health-related behaviors that may alter microbiota.

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Dr. Kristin Neumann
Dr. Kristin Neumann

I was always curious about how life works in its tiny details and ended up spending a lot of time in the lab, working with these bacteria and getting a PhD in Microbiology. I always had the idealistic idea of working on something that changes peoples live for the better …

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