Antiretroviral therapy administration in healthy rhesus macaques is associated with transient shifts in intestinal bacterial diversity and modest immunological perturbations.
J Virol. 2019 Jul 3. Epub 2019 Jul 3. PMID: 31270225
Alexandra M Ortiz
Gastrointestinal immune system competency is dependent upon interactions with commensal microbiota, which can be influenced by wide-ranging pharmacologic interventions. In SIV-infected Asian macaque models of HIV infection, we previously noted that initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is associated with a specific imbalance (dysbiosis) of the composition of the intestinal bacteriome. To determine if ART itself might contribute to dysbiosis or immune dysfunction, we treated healthy rhesus macaques with protease-, integrase- or reverse transcriptase inhibitors for 1-2 or 5-6 weeks and evaluated intestinal immune function and the composition of the fecal bacterial microbiome. We observed that individual antiretrovirals (ARVs) modestly altered intestinal T-cell pro-inflammatory responses without disturbing total or activated T-cell frequencies. Moreover, we observed transient disruptions in bacterial diversity coupled with perturbations in the relative frequencies of bacterial communities. Shifts in specific bacterial frequencies were not persistent post-treatment, however, with individual taxa showing only isolated associations with T-cell pro-inflammatory responses. Our findings suggest that intestinal bacterial instability and modest immunological alterations can result from ART itself. These data could lead to therapeutic interventions which stabilize the microbiome in individuals prescribed ART.Dysbiosis of the fecal microbiome is a common feature observed in ARV-treated people living with HIV. The degree to which HIV infection itself causes this dysbiosis remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that medications used to treat HIV infection can influence the composition of the GI tract immune responses and its microbiome in the non-human primate SIV model.