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Immunologic non-responders (INRs) are a subset of individuals living with HIV who have suboptimal blood CD4+ T cell recovery despite effective antiretroviral therapy (ART). They are at an increased risk of serious non-AIDS co-morbidities and death, and demonstrate enhanced systemic immune activation. In other populations diet has been correlated with markers of systemic inflammation through the Diet Inflammatory Index (DII), but this association has not been studied in persons living with HIV (PLWH). Blood was collected from 28 INR PLWH with a blood CD4+ T cell count <350/μL despite ≥2 years of effective ART. Participants completed a Canadian Diet History Questionnaire, and their responses were used to calculate the DII. Plasma inflammatory markers (IFNγ, TNF, IL-6, sVCAM, D-dimer, sCD14 and CRP) were assayed by ELISA, cellular immune activation (HLA-DR and CD38 on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells) was quantified using flow cytometry, and small bowel permeability assessed by calculation of the urine LacMan ratio after drinking a mix of lactulose and mannitol. Participants were a median age of 57 years, had been on effective ART for 15 years, and the median DII was −1.91 (range of −3.78 to +2.23). No correlation was observed between DII and plasma markers of inflammation, levels of T cell activation, gut permeability, or the biomarker of bacterial translocation sCD14. Self-reported alcohol intake, a potential confounder of the relationship between diet and inflammatory biomarkers, was also not associated with systemic inflammation or gut permeability. Our findings suggest that other mechanisms, rather than diet, are likely to be the major driver of systemic inflammation in INR individuals.

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© 2021 Malazogu, Rousseau, Shivappa, Huibner, Walmsley, Kovacs, Benko, Reinhard, Rosenes, Hebert and Kaul. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

APA Citation

Malazogu, F., Rousseau, R. K., Shivappa, N., Huibner, S., Walmsley, S. L., Kovacs, C. M., Benko, E., Reinhard, R. J., Rosenes, R., Hebert, J. R., & Kaul, R. (2021). The Dietary Inflammatory Index Is Not Associated With Gut Permeability or Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation in HIV Immunologic Non-responders. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8.