A new paper published in the scientific journal, PNAS, highlights the viral component of your gut microbiome, in particular, the viruses that infect bacteria.
The article's significance is summarised by the authors:
"Humans need a stable, balanced gut microbiome (GM) to be healthy. The GM is influenced by bacteriophages that infect bacterial hosts. In this work, bacteriophages associated with the GM of healthy individuals were analyzed, and a healthy gut phageome (HGP) was discovered. The HGP is composed of core and common bacteriophages common to healthy adult individuals and is likely globally distributed. We posit that the HGP plays a critical role in maintaining the proper function of a healthy GM. As expected, we found that the HGP is significantly decreased in individuals with gastrointestinal disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). Together, these results reveal a large community of human gut bacteriophages that likely contribute to maintaining human health."
To read the article, click here
To listen to a short podcast (3 min) describing the findings, click here