Evaluation of Six Weekly Oral Fecal Microbiota Transplants in People with HIV

Netanya Sandler Utay, Ana N. Monczor, Anoma Somasunderam, Sofia Lupo, Zhi-Dong Jiang, Ashley S. Alexander, Malcolm Finkelman, Karen J. Vigil, Jordan E. Lake, Blake Hanson, Herbert L. DuPont, Roberto C. Arduino

Abstract


Background: Reduced microbiota diversity (dysbiosis) in people with HIV (PWH) likely contributes to inflammation, a driver of morbidity and mortality. We aimed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of 6 weekly oral fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) administered to reverse this dysbiosis.

Methods: Six PWH on suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) received 6 weekly doses of lyophilized fecal microbiota product from healthy donors. Shotgun sequencing on stool before, after last FMT, and 20 weeks thereafter was performed. Inflammation and gut permeability biomarkers were measured.

Results: Median age at week 0 was 39 years, CD4+ T cell count 496 cells/mm3, HIV RNA levels <20 copies/mL. FMT was safe and well-tolerated. Alpha diversity increased in 4 participants from weeks 0 to 6, including the 3 with the lowest alpha diversity at week 0. At week 26, alpha diversity more closely resembled week 0 than week 6 in these 4 participants. Metagenomic analysis showed no consistent changes across all participants. One participant had high gut permeability and inflammation biomarker levels and low alpha diversity that improved between weeks 0 and 6 with a shift in distribution.

Conclusions: Weekly FMT was safe and well-tolerated. Alpha diversity increased in participants with the lowest baseline alpha diversity during the treatment period. Future randomized, controlled trials of FMT should consider evaluating PWH with greater inflammation, gut damage, or dysbiosis as this population may be most likely to show a significant response.

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03329560


Keywords


HIV, microbiome, fecal microbiota transplant, inflammation

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