Altered host-microbe interaction in HIV: A target for intervention with pro- and prebiotics
The intestinal immune system is severely affected by HIV and circulating microbial products from the intestinal tract that provide an ongoing source of systemic inflammation and concomitant viral replication. In addition, HIV-infected individuals can have a deregulated immune response that may hamper the anti-viral capacity of the host. Various probiotic organisms and prebiotic agents have been shown to enhance intestinal epithelial barrier functions, reduce inflammation, and support effective Th-1 responses. As these characteristics may benefit HIV patients, this review aims to provide a theoretical framework for the development of probiotic and prebiotic interventions specifically for this population.