Microbiota-meditated immunity abnormalities facilitate hepatitis B virus co-infection in people living with HIV: A review


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection is fairly common in people living with HIV (PLWH) and affects millions of people worldwide. Identical transmission routes and HIV-induced immune suppression have been assumed to be the main factors contributing to this phenomenon. Moreover, convergent evidence has shown that people co-infected with HIV and HBV are more likely to have long-term serious medical problems, suffer more from liver-related diseases, and have higher mortality rates, compared to individuals infected exclusively by either HIV or HBV. However, the precise mechanisms underlying the comorbid infection of HIV and HBV have not been fully elucidated. In recent times, the human gastrointestinal microbiome is progressively being recognized as playing a pivotal role in modulating immune function, and is likely to also contribute significantly to critical processes involving systemic inflammation. Both antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve HIV-infected subjects and ART-treated individuals are now known to be characterized by having gut microbiomic dysbiosis, which is associated with a damaged intestinal barrier, impaired mucosal immunological functioning, increased microbial translocation, and long-term immune activation. Altered microbiota-related products in PLWH, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), have been associated with the development of leaky gut syndrome, favoring microbial translocation, which in turn has been associated with a chronically activated underlying host immune response and hence the facilitated pathogenesis of HBV infection. Herein, we critically review the interplay among gut microbiota, immunity, and HIV and HBV infection, thus laying down the groundwork with respect to the future development of effective strategies to efficiently restore normally diversified gut microbiota in PLWH with a dysregulated gut microbiome, and thus potentially reduce the prevalence of HBV infection in this population.


Ouyang J, Zaongo SD, Zhang X, Qi M, Hu A, Wu H, Chen Y




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C


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