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Viral Dark Matter in the Gut Virome of Elderly Humans

Abstract : The human virome is an area of increasing interest with relation to human health and disease. It has been demonstrated to alter in concert with the bacterial microbiome in early life and was also found to be different in patients with certain diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. However, all virome analyses are hampered by a lack of annotated representative database sequences, often referred to as the ‘viral dark matter’. Here we provide the first description of the gut DNA virome in elderly individuals (>65 years old) as well as the description of novel bacteriophages not present in current reference databases. Diversity analysis comparing elderly persons from different residence locations (community living vs long term care facilities) did not reveal any difference in their virome diversity profiles despite the reported differences at the bacteriome level. An abundance of Microviridae of the subfamily Gokushovirinae were present in the faeces of elderly individuals. Several novel members of the order Caudovirales were also characterized and annotated. Assignment of host bacteria to detected viral genomes was attempted using a combination of CRISPR spacers, tRNA genes and a probabilistic approach. Further characterization of the viral dark matter is necessary for developing tools and expanding databases to study the human virome. This study focused on the virome of an aging human cohort with the goal of illuminating part of the viral dark matter.
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Stephen Stockdale, Feargal Ryan, Angela Mccann, Marion Dalmasso, Paul Ross, et al.. Viral Dark Matter in the Gut Virome of Elderly Humans. 2019. ⟨hal-02163687⟩

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