Associations of the gut microbiome and clinical factors with acute GVHD in allogeneic HSCT recipients

AUTHORS: Ilett EE, Jørgensen M, Noguera-Julian M, Nørgaard JC, Daugaard G, Helleberg M, Paredes R, Murray DD, Lundgren J, MacPherson C, Reekie J, Sengeløv H.


Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a leading cause of transplantation-related mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT). 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene-based studies have reported that lower gut bacterial diversity and the relative abundance of certain bacteria after aHSCT are associated with aGVHD. Using shotgun metagenomic sequencing and a large cohort, we aimed to confirm and extend these observations. Adult aHSCT recipients with stool samples collected from day -30 to day 100 relative to aHSCT were included. One sample was selected per patient per period (pre-aHSCT (day -30 to day 0), early post-aHSCT (day 1 to day 28), and late post-aHSCT (day 29 to day 100)), resulting in 150 aHSCT recipients and 259 samples. Microbial and clinical factors were tested for differences between time periods and an association with subsequent aGVHD. Patients showed a decline in gut bacterial diversity posttransplant, with several patients developing a dominance of Enterococcus. A total of 36 recipients developed aGVHD at a median of 34 days (interquartile range, 26-50 days) post-aHSCT. Lower microbial gene richness (P = .02), a lower abundance of the genus Blautia (P = .05), and a lower abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila (P = .01) early post-aHSCT was observed in those who developed aGVHD. Myeloablative conditioning was associated with aGVHD along with a reduction in gene richness and abundance of Blautia and A muciniphila. These results confirm low diversity and Blautia being associated with aGVHD. Crucially, we add that pretransplant conditioning is associated with changes in gut microbiota. Investigations are warranted to determine the interplay of gut microbiota and conditioning in the development of aGVHD.


JOURNAL: Blood Adv

DATE: 2020 Nov 24

The Impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection on Gut Microbiota α-Diversity: An Individual-level Meta-analysis

AUTHORS: Tuddenham SA, Koay WLA, Zhao N, White JR, Ghanem KG, Sears CL; HIV Microbiome Re-analysis Consortium


Background: Whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection impacts gut microbial α-diversity is controversial. We reanalyzed raw 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences and metadata from published studies to examine α-diversity measures between HIV-uninfected (HIV-) and HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and individual level meta-analysis by searching Embase, Medline, and Scopus for original research studies (inception to 31 December 2017). Included studies reported 16S rRNA gene sequences of fecal samples from HIV+ patients. Raw sequence reads and metadata were obtained from public databases or from study authors. Raw reads were processed through standardized pipelines with use of a high-resolution taxonomic classifier. The χ2 test, paired t tests, and generalized linear mixed models were used to relate α-diversity measures and clinical metadata.

Results: Twenty-two studies were identified with 17 datasets available for analysis, yielding 1032 samples (311 HIV-, 721 HIV+). HIV status was associated with a decrease in measures of α-diversity (P < .001). However, in stratified analysis, HIV status was associated with decreased α-diversity only in women and in men who have sex with women (MSW) but not in men who have sex with men (MSM). In analyses limited to women and MSW, controlling for HIV status, women displayed increased α-diversity compared with MSW.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that HIV status, sexual risk category, and gender impact gut microbial community α-diversity. Future studies should consider MSM status in gut microbiome analyses.


JOURNAL: Clin Infect Dis

DATE: 2020 Feb 03

Gut microbiome comparability of fresh-frozen versus stabilized-frozen samples from hospitalized patients using 16S rRNA gene and shotgun metagenomic sequencing

AUTHORS: Ilett EE, Jørgensen M, Noguera-Julian M, Daugaard G, Murray DD, Helleberg M, Paredes R, Lundgren J, Sengeløv H, MacPherson C.


Collection of faecal samples for microbiome analysis in acutely sick patients is logistically difficult, particularly if immediate freezing is required (i.e. fresh-frozen, or FF sampling). Previous studies in healthy/non-hospitalized volunteers have shown that chemical stabilization (i.e. stabilized-frozen, or SF sampling) allows room-temperature storage with comparable results to FF samples. To test this in a hospital setting we compared FF and SF approaches across 17 patients undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) using both 16S rRNA gene and shotgun metagenomic sequencing. A paired (same stool specimen) comparison of FF and SF samples was made, with an overall comparable level in relative taxonomic abundances between the two sampling techniques. Though shotgun metagenomic sequencing found significant differences for certain bacterial genera (P < 0.001), these were considered minor methodological effects. Within-sample diversity of either method was not significantly different (Shannon diversity P16SrRNA = 0.68 and Pshotgun = 0.89) and we could not reject the null hypothesis that between-sample variation in FF and SF were equivalent (P16SrRNA = 0.98 and Pshotgun = 1.0). This indicates that SF samples can be used to reliably study the microbiome in acutely sick patient populations, thus creating and enabling further outcomes-based metagenomic studies on similarly valuable cohorts.



DATE: 2019 Sep 16

Evolution of the gut microbiome following acute HIV-1 infection

AUTHORS: Rocafort M, Noguera-Julian M, Rivera J, Pastor L, Guillén Y, Langhorst J, Parera M, Mandomando I, Carrillo J, Urrea V, Rodríguez C, Casadellà M, Calle ML, Clotet B, Blanco J, Naniche D, Paredes R.


Background: In rhesus macaques, simian immunodeficiency virus infection is followed by expansion of enteric viruses but has a limited impact on the gut bacteriome. To understand the longitudinal effects of HIV-1 infection on the human gut microbiota, we prospectively followed 49 Mozambican subjects diagnosed with recent HIV-1 infection (RHI) and 54 HIV-1-negative controls for 9-18 months and compared them with 98 chronically HIV-1-infected subjects treated with antiretrovirals (n = 27) or not (n = 71).

Results: We show that RHI is followed by increased fecal adenovirus shedding, which persists during chronic HIV-1 infection and does not resolve with ART. Recent HIV-1 infection is also followed by transient non-HIV-specific changes in the gut bacterial richness and composition. Despite early resilience to change, an HIV-1-specific signature in the gut bacteriome-featuring depletion of Akkermansia, Anaerovibrio, Bifidobacterium, and Clostridium-previously associated with chronic inflammation, CD8+ T cell anergy, and metabolic disorders, can be eventually identified in chronically HIV-1-infected subjects.

Conclusions: Recent HIV-1 infection is associated with increased fecal shedding of eukaryotic viruses, transient loss of bacterial taxonomic richness, and long-term reductions in microbial gene richness. An HIV-1-associated microbiome signature only becomes evident in chronically HIV-1-infected subjects.


JOURNAL: Microbiome.

DATE: 2019 May 11

Low nadir CD4+ T-cell counts predict gut dysbiosis in HIV-1 infection

AUTHORS: Guillén Y, Noguera-Julian M, Rivera J, Casadellà M, Zevin AS, Rocafort M, Parera M, Rodríguez C, Arumí M, Carrillo J, Mothe B, Estany C, Coll J, Bravo I, Herrero C, Saz J, Sirera G, Torrella A, Navarro J, Crespo M, Negredo E, Brander C, Blanco J, Calle ML, Klatt NR, Clotet B, Paredes R.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection causes severe gut and systemic immune damage, but its effects on the gut microbiome remain unclear. Previous shotgun metagenomic studies in HIV-negative subjects linked low-microbial gene counts (LGC) to gut dysbiosis in diseases featuring intestinal inflammation. Using a similar approach in 156 subjects with different HIV-1 phenotypes, we found a strong, independent, dose-effect association between nadir CD4+ T-cell counts and LGC. As in other diseases involving intestinal inflammation, the gut microbiomes of subjects with LGC were enriched in gram-negative Bacteroides, acetogenic bacteria and Proteobacteria, which are able to metabolize reactive oxygen and nitrogen species; and were depleted in oxygen-sensitive methanogenic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Interestingly, subjects with LGC also showed increased butyrate levels in direct fecal measurements, consistent with enrichment in Roseburia intestinalis despite reductions in other butyrate producers. The microbiomes of subjects with LGC were also enriched in bacterial virulence factors, as well as in genes associated with beta-lactam, lincosamide, tetracycline, and macrolide resistance. Thus, low nadir CD4+ T-cell counts, rather than HIV-1 serostatus per se, predict the presence of gut dysbiosis in HIV-1 infected subjects. Such dysbiosis does not display obvious HIV-specific features; instead, it shares many similarities with other diseases featuring gut inflammation.


JOURNAL: Mucosal Immunol

DATE: 2018 Aug 31

Balances: a New Perspective for Microbiome Analysis

AUTHORS: Rivera-Pinto J, Egozcue JJ, Pawlowsky-Glahn V, Paredes R, Noguera-Julian M, Calle ML.


High-throughput sequencing technologies have revolutionized microbiome research by allowing the relative quantification of microbiome composition and function in different environments. In this work we focus on the identification of microbial signatures, groups of microbial taxa that are predictive of a phenotype of interest. We do this by acknowledging the compositional nature of the microbiome and the fact that it carries relative information. Thus, instead of defining a microbial signature as a linear combination in real space corresponding to the abundances of a group of taxa, we consider microbial signatures given by the geometric means of data from two groups of taxa whose relative abundances, or balance, are associated with the response variable of interest. In this work we present selbal, a greedy stepwise algorithm for selection of balances or microbial signatures that preserves the principles of compositional data analysis. We illustrate the algorithm with 16S rRNA abundance data from a Crohn’s microbiome study and an HIV microbiome study. IMPORTANCE We propose a new algorithm for the identification of microbial signatures. These microbial signatures can be used for diagnosis, prognosis, or prediction of therapeutic response based on an individual’s specific microbiota.


JOURNAL: mSystems

DATE: 2018 Jul 17

Gut Microbiota Linked to Sexual Preference and HIV Infection

AUTHORS: Noguera-Julian M, Rocafort M, Guillén Y, Rivera J, Casadellà M, Nowak P, Hildebrand F, Zeller G, Parera M, Bellido R, Rodríguez C, Carrillo J, Mothe B, Coll J, Bravo I, Estany C, Herrero C, Saz J, Sirera G, Torrela A, Navarro J, Crespo M, Brander C, Negredo E, Blanco J, Guarner F, Calle ML, Bork P, Sönnerborg A, Clotet B, Paredes R.


The precise effects of HIV-1 on the gut microbiome are unclear. Initial cross-sectional studies provided contradictory associations between microbial richness and HIV serostatus and suggested shifts from Bacteroides to Prevotella predominance following HIV-1 infection, which have not been found in animal models or in studies matched for HIV-1 transmission groups. In two independent cohorts of HIV-1-infected subjects and HIV-1-negative controls in Barcelona (n = 156) and Stockholm (n = 84), men who have sex with men (MSM) predominantly belonged to the Prevotella-rich enterotype whereas most non-MSM subjects were enriched in Bacteroides, independently of HIV-1 status, and with only a limited contribution of diet effects. Moreover, MSM had a significantly richer and more diverse fecal microbiota than non-MSM individuals. After stratifying for sexual orientation, there was no solid evidence of an HIV-specific dysbiosis. However, HIV-1 infection remained consistently associated with reduced bacterial richness, the lowest bacterial richness being observed in subjects with a virological-immune discordant response to antiretroviral therapy. Our findings indicate that HIV gut microbiome studies must control for HIV risk factors and suggest interventions on gut bacterial richness as possible novel avenues to improve HIV-1-associated immune dysfunction.


JOURNAL: EBioMedicine.

DATE: 2016 Feb 28