Scientists Identify A New Virus In The Gut

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 27, 2021

Human health is vastly influenced by microbiota in the gut of humans. This includes bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

The effects of imbalances in the bacteria present in the gut have been studied by scientists extensively.

An imbalance in these bacteria has been associated with several conditions, which include cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and even neurological diseases.

Scientists Identify A New Virus In The Gut

Researchers are still attempting to work out the details.

Health and disease are intricately linked to these microorganisms.

Gut microbiota, on the other hand, is not as well known.

Scientists Identify A New Virus In The Gut

The numerous viral genomes that are present in the guts of humans worldwide have been investigated and identified by a recent study that appears in mSystems.

Bacteriophages are viruses that reside in the human gut.

A bacterial host is required by these viruses to reproduce.

Liver disease and some forms of cancer have been associated with the close link between bacteria and viruses.

The authors of this study have stated that due to this, microbiota must be investigated more thoroughly, along with the virome, which is their collective genomes.

A huge obstacle is posed by studying the gut virome.

According to the study’s lead researcher, in each individual, phages are quite diverse and unique.

Jelle Matthijnssens is a professor at KU Leuven in Belgium.

Geographical origin, age, health status, and diet influence the individuality of gut virome.

Gut virome, in addition, is a relatively new area of study.

Scientists have not been able to classify and identify a large number of these phages due to the research still being in its infancy.

254 fecal samples from 204 Danish participants were analyzed by the researchers.

Involved in the study were children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 18 and adults between the ages of 40 and 73.

The stool samples were purified using the Novel Enrichment Technique of Viromes protocol.

Their genomes were sequenced subsequently.

The Danish Enteric Virome Catalog was developed by researchers using this data. This is also known as DevOps.

From the study population, 91 healthy gut viromes were compared using DevOps.

39 particular phages were present in more than 10 healthy participants along with most of the phage genomes being unique to individuals.

Age was linked to 3 of the 39 most common genomes.

Global virome data was then cross-referenced with the results of the study.

2 phages out of the 19 common ones, which were crass phage and Love phage exhibited prevalence across the world. These figures stood at 20.6% and 14.4% respectively.

Prof. Jelle said that interesting questions have been raised by their findings where there is a widespread distribution of this novel phage.

He questioned the role of these phages in influencing human health and disease.

Anthony William Maresso said that the examination of viral signatures from multiple subjects is a strength of this particular study.

He added that the fact that the virome is individualized to a certain extent is shown by this study.

He thought that there was an association with the age of a person as well.

Maresco is a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

He continued that learning how complex and diverse the total phage virome is just scratching the surface in this field.

He added that developing ways to harness the functional power of this cryptic geosphere will undoubtedly be the next frontier in this field.

He said that this needs to be done in order to improve our comprehension of cell biology, molecular medicine, and protein enzymology.

Fascinating discoveries are sure to exist just beyond the horizon, even though studying the virome is still in its infancy.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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