CORDIS - EU research results

Microbiome-based stratification of individuals at risk of HIV-1 acquisition, chronic clinical complications,antimicrobial drug resistance,and unresponsiveness to therapeutic HIV-1 vaccination

Project description

Gut microbiome for tackling HIV infection

Although the microbiome has been the subject of intense research over recent decades, very few publications have addressed its potential role in HIV/AIDS - and most of these have focused on the genital microbiome. Increasing evidence supports a role for the gut microbiome in immune system disorders, chronic inflammation and accelerated ageing, all hallmarks of HIV-1 infection. The EU-funded MISTRAL project is exploring the gut microbiota in relation to HIV-1, seeking microbiome biomarkers to support development of interventions that mitigate infection and enhance response to vaccines and therapies. In addition, the creation of a publicly accessible database will aid inpatient screening and stratification. A cloud-based tool will also facilitate microbiome interpretation for reseach and clinical purposes.


The HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to be one of the major health challenges ever faced by mankind. Far from being resolved, HIV is soaring in Eastern Europe (60% increase in new infections and 27% increase in deaths since 2010) and other regions of the world despite increasing access to antiretroviral treatment. There is emerging evidence that the human microbiome impacts some of the most important clinical aspects of HIV-1 infection, including immune disorders, chronic inflammation and accelerated aging. Work in other viral diseases and cancer immunotherapy suggest a critical role of the human microbiome also in the outcome of immune therapeutic interventions in HIV-1 infection. The MISTRAL project brings together a team of world-class HIV and microbiome researchers and SMEs with ideal complementary knowledge and expertise. This team will work to discover and validate novel gut microbiome biomarkers to inform rationally-designed, mechanistically-driven interventions on the gut microbiome to mitigate HIV-1 acquisition, systemic inflammation, chronic clinical complications, antimicrobial drug resistance, and boost the efficacy of HIV cure immunotherapies. Integrated and curated large microbiome and host datasets generated during the execution of the project will be made public through a freely accessible, specifically-dedicated web-based repository. Biomarker discoveries will be incorporated into a cloud-based software tool that will automate microbiome analyses and interpretations, thus streamlining patient stratification for clinical and research purposes. If successful, MISTRAL will benefit millions of human beings living with, or at risk of acquiring HIV-1 infection, and will produce novel concepts and technical innovations applicable to other human diseases. By doing that, MISTRAL will help to unlock the full clinical potential of the human microbiome to stratify patient outcomes and will irreversibly bring microbiome science closer to clinical practice.

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Net EU contribution
€ 3 967 500,00
08916 Barcelona

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 3 967 500,00

Participants (14)