Human gut microbiota is associated with HIV-reactive immunoglobulin at baseline and following HIV vaccination.
Antibodies that recognize commensal microbial antigens may be cross reactive with a part of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) envelope glycoprotein gp41. To improve understanding of the role of the microbiota in modulating the immune response to HIV vaccines, we studied the associations of the gut microbiota composition of participants in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network 096 clinical trial with their HIV-specific immune responses in response to vaccination with a DNA-prime, pox virus boost strategy designed to recapitulate the only efficacious HIV-vaccine trial (RV144). We observed that both levels of IgG antibodies to gp41 at baseline and post-vaccination levels of IgG antibodies to the Con.6.gp120.B, ZM96.gp140 and gp70 B.CaseA V1-V2 antigens were associated with three co-occurring clusters of family level microbial taxa. One cluster contained several families positively associated with gp41-specific IgG and negatively associated with vaccine-matched gp120, gp140 and V1-V2-specific IgG responses. A second cluster contained families that negatively associated with gp41 and positively associated with gp120, gp140 and V1-V2-specific IgG responses. A third cluster contained microbial groups that did not correlate with any immune responses. Baseline and post-vaccination levels of gp41 IgG were not significantly correlated, suggesting that factors beyond the microbiome that contribute to immune response heterogeneity. Sequence variant richness was positively associated with gp41, p24, pg140 and V1-V2 specific IgG responses, gp41 and p24 IgA responses, and CD4+ T cell responses to HIV-1 proteins. Our findings provide preliminary evidence that the gut microbiota may be an important predictor of vaccine response.
Cram, JA; Fiore-Gartland, AJ; Srinivasan, S; Karuna, S; Pantaleo, G; Tomaras, GD; Fredricks, DN; Kublin, JG
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