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Review article: the human intestinal virome in health and disease

Jo Best

Senior Member
(Simon Carding also leads the UK research on gut microbiota in ME at Quadram Science and Nadine Davis is one of the medical students funded by Invest in ME Research)

Review article: the human intestinal virome in health and disease

Authors: S. R. Carding, N. Davis, L. Hoyles.

First published: 4 September 2017

DOI: 10.1111/apt.14280
  • Funding information

    This study was funded in part by an institutional grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, grant number BB/J004529/1 (SRC), by an MRC Intermediate Research Fellowship in Data Science awarded to LH, and by a medical student research bursary from Invest In ME charity awarded to ND. This work used the computing resources of the UK MEDical BIOinformatics partnership—aggregation, integration, visualisation and analysis of large, complex data (UK MED-BIO), which is supported by the Medical Research Council, grant number MR/L01632X/1

  • The Handling Editor for this article was Professor Jonathan Rhodes, and this commissioned review was accepted for publication after full peer-review.


    The human virome consists of animal-cell viruses causing transient infections, bacteriophage (phage) predators of bacteria and archaea, endogenous retroviruses and viruses causing persistent and latent infections. High-throughput, inexpensive, sensitive sequencing methods and metagenomics now make it possible to study the contribution dsDNA, ssDNA and RNA virus-like particles make to the human virome, and in particular the intestinal virome.

    To review and evaluate the pioneering studies that have attempted to characterise the human virome and generated an increased interest in understanding how the intestinal virome might contribute to maintaining health, and the pathogenesis of chronic diseases.

    Relevant virome-related articles were selected for review following extensive language- and date-unrestricted, electronic searches of the literature.

    The human intestinal virome is personalised and stable, and dominated by phages. It develops soon after birth in parallel with prokaryotic communities of the microbiota, becoming established during the first few years of life. By infecting specific populations of bacteria, phages can alter microbiota structure by killing host cells or altering their phenotype, enabling phages to contribute to maintaining intestinal homeostasis or microbial imbalance (dysbiosis), and the development of chronic infectious and autoimmune diseases including HIV infection and Crohn's disease, respectively.

    Our understanding of the intestinal virome is fragmented and requires standardised methods for virus isolation and sequencing to provide a more complete picture of the virome, which is key to explaining the basis of virome-disease associations, and how enteric viruses can contribute to disease aetiologies and be rationalised as targets for interventions.

    The authors would like to thank Sam Carding for creating Figure 1.

    Declaration of personal interest: None.

    Guarantor of the article: Simon R. Carding.

    Author contributions: SRC takes responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to published article. LH and SRC designed the research study. LH and ND collected and analysed data. SRC and LH wrote the paper. All authors approve the final version of the manuscript.


Jo Best

Senior Member
On Kudos: https://growkudos.com/publications/10.1111%252Fapt.14280/reader

Intestinal viruses contribute to human health and disease

What is it about?

We reviewed almost all papers that had been published up until July 2017 on the human intestinal virome – the viruses found in our intestines – and summarized technical challenges facing virome research, and how viromes influence human health and disease.

Why is it important?
Most research on the intestinal microbiota has focussed on bacteria. While it is undeniable these organisms are important to maintaining health and can be affected by and influence human disease, relatively little attention has been paid to the association of intestinal viruses with human health. There are as many viruses in the human gut as there are bacteria. Each individual has a unique virome that is relatively stable over time, but can be influenced by factors such as diet, medications and health status. Recent research has demonstrated that changes in intestinal viral diversity are associated with infectious and autoimmune diseases: for example, there are differences between the intestinal viromes of healthy individuals and patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Equally as important as their association with disease is the contribution of intestinal viruses to maintaining health. Intestinal viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) protect us from pathogenic bacteria, and can be used to treat Clostridium difficile infections. Bacteriophages, therefore, may be useful in targeted therapies for other intestinal diseases. It is important that we carry out detailed studies of the human intestinal virome, and gain a deeper understanding of how viruses influence health and disease.


Lesley Hoyles (Author)
Imperial College London
It's an exciting time to be involved in virome research, and it's becoming clear that viruses are likely to be as important in intestinal and systemic health as gut bacteria.

Read Publication

Source: https://growkudos.com/publications/10.1111%252Fapt.14280/reader

Jo Best

Senior Member
Extract from: http://investinme.org/ce-news-1709-01.shtml

A new update to our gut microbiota and related projects being performed at the UK Centre of Excellence for ME in Norwich Research Park brings the total raised so far for projects there to £198,000.

A recent paper published due, in part, to funding from Invest in ME Research has appeared.

The human intestinal virome in health and disease

This paper is from Professor Simon Carding, medical student Nadine Davis and Dr Lesley Hoyles from Imperial College London.

IiMER funded Nadine with a bursary for participation in the research at the Centre in Norwich Research Park.

It demonstrates the value of medical students becoming involved in research into ME.

It also shows the value of establishing the Centre hub, where existing contacts to other researchers and research institutes can be utilised to grow the experience and knowledge when researching ME.

Students and researchers from the Centre have been working with Dr Lesley Hoyles at imperial College London.
Dr Hoyles was also at this year's #BRMEC7 Colloquium and #IIMEC12 Conference.

Another paper was produced by the Centre with IiMER-funded students Dr. Navena Navaneetharaja and Dr. Verity Griffiths participating, alonf with Professors Wileman and Carding.
ME/CFS – New review advocates a spotlight on both bacteria and viruses within the gut

We hope to increase and expand this sort of collaboration.

Continue reading at: http://investinme.org/ce-news-1709-01.shtml