The guts of people with HIV are enriched with microbes associated with inflammation — even if patients are on antiviral therapy.

Mike McCune and Susan Lynch of the University of California, San Francisco, and their colleagues characterized microbial communities associated with chronic inflammation in patients with HIV. Communities with a higher abundance of Proteobacteria (including Escherichia, Pseudomonas and Salmonella species) and a lower abundance of Bacteroidetes were linked with higher levels of inflammation and with increased activity in a metabolic pathway whose products regulate T cells. These results indicate that microbes in the gut mucosa may influence progression of HIV disease.

Sci. Transl. Med. 5, 193ra91 (2013)