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MARGIN STUDY


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Microbiome and Growth in HIV-Exposed but Uninfected Infants (MARGIN)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Man Charurat

Co-PI: Dr. Nicaise Ndembi

The MARGIN study is a longitudinal study of the impact of maternal microbiota on changes in infants' gastrointestinal microbiota during the first 24 months of life among 150 HIV-exposed uninfected children (HIV-EU) and 150 HIV-unexposed children. It is estimated that 15% of all infants born in sub-Saharan Africa are HIV-EU. Under-appreciated is a growing body of data that these HIV-EU children are at risk for early life development abnormalities including growth faltering, higher morbidities, and increased risk for often fatal infant diarrhea compared to children born to HIV-uninfected mothers (HIV-unexposed, HIV-UU). By using pyro sequencing of 16s rRNA, the mothers' vaginal and stool samples and infants' meconium and stool are characterized in relationship to infant growth and development. Preliminary data suggest that there are bacterial genera that were significantly different between HIV-EU and HIV-UU at birth (24 genera) and at 6 months (22 genera). The differences in genera are also associated with underweight or stunting at 6 months. An NIH R01 is under pending award to evaluate this question through a longitudinal study that will document the pattern of microbiota in the mother and infant, its persistence and evolution over time and its relationship to various infant clinical outcomes. Markers of immune activation that may be associated with this altered microbiota are also being investigated with pilot analyses that will form the basis for future research grant submissions that explore mechanistic pathways of these effects.

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The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria AITRP Training Programmes are supported and funded by the Fogarty International Center.
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