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More than 140000 viruses in human intestines, what impact does it have on human body?

Viruses are the largest number of biological entities on earth. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages of viruses. As an extremely complex ecological environment, human intestinal tract has hundreds of thousands of phage viruses besides bacteria.
Phages drive the evolution of bacterial communities by creating gene flow networks that promote ecological adaptation. However, the extent of viral diversity and its prevalence in human gut remains largely unknown.
Based on this, recently, in a paper published in the top issue of cell, researchers screened out a high-quality genomic intestinal phage database (GPD) and found a highly popular branch of phage evolution. This discovery opens up a new research way for scientists to decipher how enteroviruses affect human health.
First, the researchers obtained 142000 non redundant viral genomes (> 10 KB) by mining the data sets of 28060 human intestinal metagenomes and 2898 cultured intestinal bacterial reference genomes. Based on the sequence similarity of known phages and other virus like features, virfinder and virsorter were used to identify the virus sequences between human intestinal metagenomes, so as to obtain a comprehensive view of the diversity of human intestinal phages.
To further improve the quality of data sets, researchers used a “machine learning approach” to filter out mobile genetic elements (MGEs), and used gene density and hypothetical protein fraction to distinguish phages in plasmids and integrated conjugation elements (ice).
The GPD database of 142809 intestinal phage sequences was obtained by duplicating the final set of filtered sequences with 95% average nucleotide identity (ANI) threshold.
At the same time, the researchers located 28060 metagenomes of GPD, conducted the most comprehensive analysis of human intestinal phages, and based on 280 globally distributed virus clusters (VCS), found a new highly popular branch of phage evolution “gubaphage”.
This will be the second most common branch of virus evolution in human intestine, next to crssphage discovered in 2014, which paves the way for a better understanding of the role of virus in intestinal microbiome.
Of course, although the research and understanding of intestinal microorganisms is still in the early stage, it is undeniable that intestinal microorganisms play a fundamental role in all aspects of the human body.
It also means that changes in gut microbiota may affect human health in a unique behavioral way, and it is important for everyone to understand the fabric of gut microbiota.

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