Microbiome, Metabolites, and Alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD

The Microbiome, Metabolites, and Alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD (META HIV CVD) program project grant investigates alcohol associated gut dysbiosis and gut dysbiotic metabolites as cardiovascular disease risk factors among people with HIV (PWH) who are heavy drinkers.

The goals of this research are to determine if:

  • A tailored probiotic (i.e., contains bacteria supporting butyrate synthesis) can mitigate alcohol associated gut dysbiosis and lower levels of microbial translocation, inflammation, and improve harmful dysbiotic metabolite profiles.
  • These metabolites are associated with incident cardiovascular disease and death among people with HIV.

META HIV CVD includes four parts:

Project 1: Microbiome, Metabolites, and Alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD

Randomized Clinical Trial

Among people with HIV, heavy drinking increases the risk of heart disease and death. Studies suggest that alcohol changes the number and kind of bacteria in your gut and these changes increase the risk of heart disease and death. This randomized controlled trial will determine whether a pill containing healthy gut bacteria can increase the number of good bacteria in the gut, lower levels of inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease and death.

Project 2: Microbiome, Metabolites, and Alcohol in HIV to reduce CVD

Cohort Study

The overarching theme for this project is that alcohol alters the bacteria in the gut and metabolites that the gut bacteria make among people who are infected with HIV infection and are heavy drinkers. We are examining whether this change in the bacteria and the metabolites can be reduced by taking a probiotic supplement. We are also examining whether metabolites are associated with future cardiovascular disease events (like a heart attack) or death.

Administrative Core 

The Administrative Core will provides administrative oversight of the program project grant (PPG), including assembling a steering committee, program advisory committee, and data safety monitoring board, and developing the policies and procedures necessary to successfully organize and complete our specific aims and training initiatives, as well as services to PPG investigators and trainees and to promote/disseminate the PPG'S work.

The admin core will provide resources including data and specimens, biostatistical support, and mentorship to new investigators and promote synergy within and across other funded PPGs and assist investigators with challenges such as recruitment.

Laboratory Core 

The Integrated Metagenomics and Metabolomics Core (IMMC) provides a platform that interconnects and supports the analytical needs of Projects 1 and 2. Specifically, IMMC will provide high-quality data on gut bacteria and their metabolites and support the assessment of the efficacy of the probiotics supplementation in improving clinical outcomes in people with HIV with heavy alcohol drinking.