HIV/SIV infections lead to massive loss of mucosal CD4 + T cells and breakdown of the epithelial mucosa resulting in severe microbial dysbiosis and chronic immune activation that ultimately drive disease progression. Moreover, disruption of one of the most understudied mucosal environments, the oral cavity, during HIV-induced immunosuppression results in significant microbial and neoplastic co-morbidities and contributes to and predicts distal disease complications. In this study we evaluated the effects of oral probiotic supplementation (PBX), which can stimulate and augment inflammatory or anti-inflammatory pathways, on early SIV infection of rhesus macaques. Our study revealed that similar to the GI mucosae, oral CD4 + T cells were rapidly depleted, and as one of the first comprehensive analyses of the oral microflora in SIV infection, we also observed significant modulation among two genera, Porphyromonas and Actinobacillus, early after infection. Interestingly, although PBX therapy did not substantially protect against oral dysbiosis or ameliorate cell loss, it did somewhat dampen inflammation and T cell activation. Collectively, these data provide one of the most comprehensive evaluations of SIV-induced changes in oral microbiome and CD4 + T cell populations, and also suggest that oral PBX may have some anti-inflammatory properties in lentivirus infections.
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