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J Infect Dis. 2008 Oct 15;198(8):1131-40. doi: 10.1086/591942.

Comparison of the diversity of the vaginal microbiota in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women with or without bacterial vaginosis.

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Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



Whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is associated with a change in the diversity of genital microbiota in women was investigated.


Amplicon length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) analysis and pyrosequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene were used to analyze the diversity of the microbiota in HIV-positive (HIV(+)) and HIV-negative (HIV(-)) women with or without bacterial vaginosis (BV).


LH-PCR analysis revealed significantly more microbiota diversity in BV-positive (BV(+)) women than in BV-negative (BV(-)) women, but no significant difference was noted between HIV(+) women and HIV(-) women. Pyrosequencing revealed that Lactobacillus organisms constituted a median of 96% of the bacteria in BV(-) women. BV(+) women had a significantly higher number of taxa found at > or =1% of the total genital microbiota (median, 11 taxa). Common taxa in BV(+) women were Prevotella, Megasphaera, Gardnerella, Coriobacterineae, Lachnospira, and Sneathia. There was a trend (P = .07) toward the presence of a higher number of taxa in HIV(+)BV(+) women than in HIV(-)BV(+) women. Propionibacterineae, Citrobacter, and Anaerococcus were the taxa found only in HIV(+) women (P < .05).


The present study demonstrated that both LH-PCR analysis and pyrosequencing differentiated microbiota in BV(+) women from that in BV(-) women and that pyrosequencing indicated a trend toward increased diversity in BV(+)HIV(+) women, suggesting that HIV infection is associated with changes in the diversity of genital microbiota.

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