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Global Health
March 21, 2017

Cervicovaginal Bacteria May Influence HIV Risk

JAMA. 2017;317(11):1109. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2349

Healthy South African women whose cervicovaginal (CV) microbiome is dominated by a high diversity of anaerobic bacteria but is deficient in Lactobacillus species have a higher risk of acquiring HIV than women who have CV bacterial communities of low diversity that are dominated by Lactobacillis crispatus, according to a report by researchers from the United States and South Africa.

In the prospective study published in Immunity, investigators used 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing to characterize the CV microbiomes of 236 women from South Africa between the ages of 18 and 23 years who were not infected with HIV. They then compared the microbiomes of those who went on to became infected with HIV with those who did not.