Connecting the Dots: Could Microbial Translocation Explain Commonly Reported Symptoms in HIV Disease?

Academic Article


  • Microbial translocation within the context of HIV disease has been described as one of the contributing causes of inflammation and disease progression in HIV infection. HIV-associated symptoms have been related to inflammatory markers and sCD14, a surrogate marker for microbial translocation, suggesting a plausible link between microbial translocation and symptom burden in HIV disease. Similar pathophysiological responses and symptoms have been reported in inflammatory bowel disease. We provide a comprehensive review of microbial translocation, HIV-associated symptoms, and symptoms connected with inflammation. We identify studies showing a relationship among inflammatory markers, sCD14, and symptoms reported in HIV disease. A conceptual framework and rationale to investigate the link between microbial translocation and symptoms is presented. The impact of inflammation on symptoms supports recommendations to reduce inflammation as part of HIV symptom management. Research in reducing microbial translocation-induced inflammation is limited, but needed, to further promote positive health outcomes among HIV-infected patients.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wilson NL; Vance DE; Moneyham LD; Raper JL; Mugavero MJ; Heath SL; Kempf MC
  • Start Page

  • 483
  • End Page

  • 495
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 6