Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 299–309 | Cite as

Characterization of gut microbiota composition in HIV-infected patients with metabolic syndrome

  • María Jesús Villanueva-Millán
  • Patricia Pérez-MatuteEmail author
  • Emma Recio-Fernández
  • José-Miguel Lezana Rosales
  • José-Antonio Oteo
Original Article


The presence of metabolic syndrome (MS) per se or its separated components in HIV-infected patients contributes to an accelerated aging and increased cardiovascular risk. Gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis has been linked with chronic inflammation associated with MS in a general non-infected population. However, no studies concerning GM have been performed in HIV-infected patients with MS. The aim of this study was to analyze bacterial translocation, inflammation, and GM composition in HIV-infected patients with and without MS. A total of 51 HIV-infected patients were recruited and classified according to the presence of MS (40 patients without MS and 11 with MS). Markers of bacterial translocation, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk were measured and GM was analyzed using 16S rRNA gene deep sequencing. No differences were observed among both HIV-infected groups in the bacterial translocation markers LBP and sCD14. A tendency to increase the inflammatory markers IL-6 (p = 0.069) and MCP-1 (p = 0.067) was observed in those patients suffering from MS. An increase in the cardiovascular risk markers PAI-1 (p = 0.007) and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol ratio (p < 0.0001) was also found in the MS group. No significant changes were observed at phylum level although a decrease in the abundance of seven genera and seven bacterial species, including some anti-inflammatory bacteria, was observed in HIV-infected patients with MS. To summarize, the presence of MS was not accompanied by major changes in GM, although the reduction observed in some anti-inflammatory bacteria may be clinically useful to develop strategies to minimize inflammation and its future deleterious consequences in these HIV-infected patients.


HIV infection Metabolic syndrome Gut microbiota composition Bacterial translocation Inflammation Cardiovascular risk 



Alanine aminotransferase


Antiretroviral treatment


Aspartate aminotransferase


Best blast hit


Basic local alignment search tool


Bacterial translocation


Committee for Ethics in Drug Research in La Rioja


Cardiovascular diseases


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Gut-associated lymphoid tissue


High-density lipoprotein


Human immunodeficiency virus


HIV-infected patients


Homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index




Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein,


Lowest common ancestor


Low-density lipoprotein


Monocyte chemotactic protein-1


Metabolic syndrome


National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Program III


Diastolic blood pressure


Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1


Systolic blood pressure


Protease inhibitors


Soluble CD14



We would like to thank the physicians from the Infectious Diseases Department (Hospital Universitario San Pedro) and Dr. Ángela Martin Palmero for helping us with patient recruitment and collection of demographic and clinical data.

We would also like to thank all participants of this study.

Authors’ contributions

Study design: P.P.M. and J.A.O. Data collection: P.P.M., J.A.O., and M.J.V.M. Performed the experiments: E.R.F. and M.J.V.M. Analyzed the data: J.M.L.R. and M.J.V.M. Interpretation of the data and wrote the paper: P.P.M., J.A.O., and M.J.V.M. Reviewed and/or edited the manuscript: all authors.

Funding information

This work was supported by Gilead Fellowships 2013 and SEINORTE 2013. MJ Villanueva-Millán was supported by a predoctoral grant from Consejería de Industria, Innovación y Empleo (Government of La Rioja).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

J.A. Oteo has received travel grants from Gilead Sciences, MSD, and Janssen.

Other authors have nothing to declare.


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Copyright information

© University of Navarra 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infectious Diseases, Microbiota and Metabolism Unit, Infectious Diseases DepartmentCenter for Biomedical Research of La Rioja (CIBIR)LogroñoSpain
  2. 2.Infectious Diseases DepartmentHospital Universitario San PedroLogroñoSpain

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