Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Biomedical Sciences

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Andrew Clark

Committee Members

Jonathan Moorman, Sean Fox Antonio Rusinol, Matthew Zahner


Many HIV-positive (HIV+) males on Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) experience metabolic abnormalities, including Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and lipodystrophy. The intestinal microbiota and short chain fatty acids (SCFA), participate in bidirectional communication with their host. Dysbiosis in HIV+ males on HAART demonstrate a Prevotella-rich enterotype shaped by multiple factors including, medications, adiposity, diet, intestinal permeability, and lifestyle; our objective was to investigate these factors. 19 HIV+ and 21 HIV- males were enrolled. BMI and hip-to-waist ratio (H:W) were obtained, and FibroScan for liver health. Intestinal permeability markers Claudin-21, flagellin, and intestinal fatty acid binding protein (IFABP) in serum via enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). Stool was collected for 16s rRNA sequencing, SCFAs (gas chromatography), and proximate analyses (PA). PA analyses: Bomb calorimetry (kcal), soxhlet for lipids, kjeldhal for protein, and fiber. Dietary intake by food frequency questionnaires (FFQ). HIV+ males had significantly higher H:W and hepatic steatosis (pPrevotella and Lachnospiraceae compared to HIV- males. Additionally, HIV+ males had significantly higher central obesity and hepatic steatosis. In a retrospective analysis, all HIV+ men were men that have sex with men (MSM). These findings support differences in intestinal microbiome and SCFAs, and measures of altered lipid metabolism between HIV+ and HIV- males. These findings lay the framework for investigations into intestinal microbiome, SCFAs and metabolism in HIV+ MSM.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 15, 2025