HIV-associated gut microbial alterations are dependent on host and geographic context

Muntsa Rocafort, David B. Gootenberg, Jesús M. Luévano, Jeffrey M. Paer, Matthew R. Hayward, Juliet T. Bramante, Musie S. Ghebremichael, Jiawu Xu, Zoe H. Rogers, Alexander R. Munoz, Samson Okello, June Ho Kim, Ruth Sentongo, Robert Wagubi, Alex Lankowski, Segametsi Maruapula, Guoyan Zhao, Scott A. Handley, Mosepele Mosepele, Mark J. SiednerDouglas S. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV-associated changes in intestinal microbiota are believed to be important drivers of disease progression. However, the majority of studies have focused on populations in high-income countries rather than in developing regions where HIV burden is greatest. To better understand the impact of HIV on fecal microbiota globally, we compare the fecal microbial community of individuals in the U.S., Uganda, and Botswana. We identify significant bacterial taxa alterations with both treated and untreated HIV infection with a high degree of uniqueness in each cohort. HIV-associated taxa alterations are also significantly different between populations that report men who have sex with men (MSM) behavior and non-MSM populations. Additionally, while we find that HIV infection is consistently associated with higher soluble markers of immune activation, most specific bacterial taxa associated with these markers in each region are not shared and none are shared across all three geographic locations in our study. Our findings demonstrate that HIV-associated changes in fecal microbiota are overall distinct among geographical locations and sexual behavior groups, although a small number of taxa shared between pairs of geographic locations warrant further investigation, highlighting the importance of considering host context to fully assess the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1055
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024


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