What does a healthy human gut virome look like? Study shows that we have no idea

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There’s a lot that scientists don’t know about the gut microbiota, and when it comes to the viruses present there they know even less. To learn more, researchers have monitored the gut viromes of nine people for a full year and that of one person for more than two years. They find that many types of bacteriophages are present and that each individual’s virome is stable over time and different from that of the other subjects.

“It confirms recent reports that there is no such thing as a core gut virome shared between adult individuals, which is in contrast with the bacterial component of our microbiota where there are more members shared between humans,” Evelien Adriaenssens, who studies gut viruses at the Quadram Institute in the UK and was not involved in the work, writes in an email to The Scientist. “We need more studies on the gut virome like these to establish a baseline about what a healthy human gut virome looks like”

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These findings could also inform future studies investigating the microbiome’s role in development or disease, which “should include also the virome because, although we don’t exactly know how the two systems interact, there definitely is an interaction.”

Read full, original post: Human Gut Virome is Stable and Person-Specific

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