Influence of highly-active antiretroviral therapy on the subgingival biofilm in HIV-infected patients

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Highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been associated with alterations in subgingival biofilm and periodontal disease. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between different HAART regimens and the prevalence of periodontal pathogens in HIV-infected patients with chronic periodontitis.


Subgingival periodontal pathogens were determined by a DNA chip microarray in a case series in 14 HIV-infected patients receiving HAART with different drug combinations: protease inhibitor (PI)-based HAART versus non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based HAART. A statistical analysis was conducted to determine whether specific HAART regimens were associated with 10 periodontal pathogens using odds ratios (OR).


At baseline and after treatment, the patients did not show significant clinical and immunological differences. In general, the highest OR for the prevalence of periodontal pathogens were found in the PI HAART group for Actinomyces viscosus (A. viscosus) (OR: 303), Campylobacter rectus (OR: 90), and Treponema denticola (OR: 25). In the NNRTI HAART group, higher OR were documented for Fusobacterium nucleatum (OR: 56) and Eikenella corrodens (OR: 25). The association between A. viscosus and PI HAART was statistically significant (P = 0.03).


The results demonstrated statistical associations between subgingival bacteria and antiretroviral drug therapies. Further investigation on the clinical significance and underlying mechanisms are needed to support these findings.

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