The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that progressively attacks the host immune system; without treatment, this eventually leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and death. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has resulted in a dramatic reduction of AIDS progression and mortality in HIV-infected individuals. In contrast, non-AIDS related comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and cancer have become increasingly relevant in an aging HIV population. These long-term complications of HIV are thought to arise from persistent immune activation and dysfunction. Many factors may contribute to this phenomenon including incomplete virological suppression, the occurrence of co-infections and , microbial translocation from the gut. An integrative view on the interaction between host-genome, immune system, microbiome and pathogens is lacking.
Embedded within the Human Functional Genomics project, we aim to characterize the interaction between immune responses, the genetic background and the microbiome in virologically suppressed HIV-infected individuals, using system biology bioinformatics. Findings will be related to clinical outcome.
In total, 225 HIV-infected virologically suppressed Caucasian individuals will be enrolled. Individuals will be eligible for inclusion if they show no signs of opportunistic infections or active hepatitis B/C at time of inclusion. The following information and materials will be available:
- General questionnaires on lifestyle, diet and well-being
- Psychiatric questionnaires
- Clinical data
- DNA for genomic analysis
- Microbiome samples: intestinal, oral, skin, vaginal
- Serum and plasma
- Immune cell subpopulations and immunoglobin subclasses determined by flowcytometry
- Functional immunology: cellular immunity using ex vivo PBMC stimulation
- Freshly frozen PBMCs
- Platelet function assays and platelet content