Gut microbiota and plasma metabolites associated with diabetes in women with, or at high risk for, HIV infection

Jee Young Moon, Christine P. Zolnik, Zheng Wang, Yunping Qiu, Mykhaylo Usyk, Tao Wang, Jorge R. Kizer, Alan L. Landay, Irwin J. Kurland, Kathryn Anastos, Robert C. Kaplan, Robert D. Burk, Qibin Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gut microbiota alteration has been implicated in HIV infection and metabolic disorders. The relationship between gut microbiota and diabetes has rarely been studied in HIV-infected individuals, who have excess risk of metabolic disorders. Methods: Our study during 2015–2016 enrolled predominantly African Americans and Hispanics in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. We studied 28 women with long-standing HIV infection under antiretroviral therapy and 20 HIV-uninfected, but at high risk of infection, women (16 HIV+ and 6 HIV- with diabetes). Fecal samples were analyzed by sequencing prokaryotic16S rRNA gene. Plasma metabolomics profiling was performed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Findings: No significant differences in bacterial α- or β-diversity were observed by diabetes or HIV serostatus (all P >.1). Relative abundances of four genera (Finegoldia, Anaerococcus, Sneathia, and Adlercreutzia) were lower in women with diabetes compared to those without diabetes (all P <.01). In women with diabetes, plasma levels of several metabolites in tryptophan catabolism (e,g., kynurenine/tryptophan ratio), branched-chain amino acid and proline metabolism pathways were higher, while glycerophospholipids were lower (all P <.05). Results were generally consistent between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women, and no significant modification effects by HIV serostatus were observed (all P interaction > 0.05). Anaerococcus, known to produce butyrate which is involved in anti-inflammation and glucose metabolism, showed an inverse correlation with kynurenine/tryptophan ratio (r = −0.38, P <.01). Interpretation: Among women with or at high risk for HIV infection, diabetes is associated with gut microbiota and plasma metabolite alteration, including depletion of butyrate-producing bacterial population along with higher tryptophan catabolism. Fund: NHLBI (K01HL129892, R01HL140976) and FMF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Gut microbiota
  • HIV
  • Metabolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Gut microbiota and plasma metabolites associated with diabetes in women with, or at high risk for, HIV infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this