Washington: Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are the first line therapy for patients with HIV, but they still have a higher mortality rate than their uninfected counterparts.
Subsequently, HIV patients develop inflammation that damages the intestinal walls, known as the gut mucosa, allowing gut microbes to escape and enter the blood stream to cause a life-threatening systemic infection.
Researchers led by Jason Brenchley at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, demonstrated that probiotic supplementation may also be beneficial for ARV-treated HIV patients, the Journal of Clinical Investigation reports.
Brenchley and colleagues treated SIV-infected macaques (a model of human HIV-infection) with either ARV alone or ARV with a combo of probiotics, (foods or tablets that contains live bacteria which keeps you healthy), according to a statement of the National Institute of Allergy.
Macaques (species of monkeys) treated with probiotics had improved gastrointestinal immune function and decreased inflammation compared to macaques treated with ARV alone.
In a companion article, Judith Aberg and colleagues at New York University School of Medicine discuss how these findings could benefit HIV patients.
Gut mucosa is significantly influenced by the kind of bacteria in the gut and there is mounting evidence that probiotic supplements benefit patients intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, C. difficile infection, and inflammatory bowel disease.