Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (AIDS) continues to infect new people across the globe with numbers more pronounced in developing countries where prevention may not be as practiced.
A new study appeared in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes recently titled Effect of probiotics (Saccharomyces boulardii) on microbial translocation and inflammation in HIV-treated patients: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The authors, led by Judit Villar-Garcia, purported that because microbial translocation is linked to increased immune activation and inflammation in HIV, probiotics may impact intestinal permeability and thus positively affect outcomes.
The study was conducted on 44 HIV-1-infected patients with active viral loads.
Some received Saccharomyces boulardii orally while others received placebo in the double-blind, randomized study which took place over 12 weeks.
The following markers were assessed after the study and then 3 months after the study ended: microbial translocation, inflammation, as well as immunological and clinical signposts.
—After 12 weeks of treatment, differences in microbial translocation and inflammation parameters were observed between the probiotic and placebo groups.
—Most notably, there was a significant decrease in markers for microbial translocation at 12 weeks (57.9% patients in the probiotic group vs 6.2% in the placebo group).
While it is too early for clinical recommendations, research may lead to better outcomes in the future.