Whole-Virome Analysis Sheds Light on Viral Dark Matter in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Journal: Cell Host & Microbe

Published: 2019-11-18

DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2019.10.009

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 11

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Research Highlight

Inflammation disrupts gut ‘virome’

© MedicalRF.com/Getty

© MedicalRF.com/Getty

People with Crohn’s disease harbour a different population of bacteria-infecting viruses in their guts than do people with healthy digestive tracts. The finding from researchers at University College Cork could aid the development of new diagnostics and treatments for inflammatory bowel disorders.

The team analysed known and unknown viral sequences in human faecal samples. They identified a core set of actively replicating viruses in the stool of healthy individuals. However, in samples taken from Crohn’s-affected guts, this core ‘virome’ was largely supplanted by viruses that can integrate themselves into their host genomes and go dormant for extended stretches of time.

The researchers propose that the environmental stress of an inflamed gut causes infectious viruses to destroy their bacterial hosts, leading to a reduction in microbial diversity with only quiescent viruses remaining.

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  1. Cell Host & Microbe 26, 764–778 (2019). doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2019.10.009
Institutions Share
University College Cork (UCC), Ireland 0.91
Johnson & Johnson, United States of America (USA) 0.09