Simian immunodeficiency virus of chimpanzees (SIVcpz) is the ancestor of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the etiologic agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in humans. Like HIV-1-infected humans, SIVcpz-infected chimpanzees can develop AIDS-like symptoms. Because SIVcpz/HIV-1 may disrupt regulation of the gut microbiome and because it has not been possible to sample individual humans pre- and postinfection, we investigated the influence of infection on gut communities through long-term monitoring of chimpanzees from Gombe National Park, Tanzania. SIVcpz infection accelerated the rate of change in gut microbiota composition within individuals for periods of years after the initial infection and led to gut communities marked by high frequencies of pathogen-containing bacterial genera absent from SIVcpz-negative individuals. Our results indicate that immune function maintains temporally stable gut communities that are lost when individuals become infected with SIVcpz.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was made possible through grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 AI50529 and R01 AI58715 to B.H.H. and R01 GM101209 to H.O.) and from the National Science Foundation (to A.E.P. and M.L.W.). Additionally, we thank the Jane Goodall Institute for supporting collection of fecal samples from chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream Research Centre, the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, and the Tanzania National Parks for permission to conduct research in Gombe. R.S.R. was funded by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Med-into-Grad Fellowship, and A.H.M. is supported by predoctoral fellowship 2011119472 from the National Science Foundation.