Researchers have discovered more than 33 thousand different viruses in the microbiome of the intestine of the human body for the first time and these viruses found in each person’s intestine are completely different and distinct like the human’s fingerprints.
Today, even though we are fighting the Coronavirus Covid-19, you will be surprised to know about this new research that more than 33 thousand virus populations live in the microbiome of our intestine, that too we To harm. Not only this, for the first time scientists have listed these viruses in 1000 database catalogues. Researchers at Ohio State University in the United States have made the first list of thousands of viruses inhabiting the human intestine because researchers believe that such a large number of viruses have been detected for the first time in any one human organ. Scientists have named this list as ‘Gut Virom Database’. The study also showed that these gut viral populations found in each person’s intestine are completely different and distinct, just like human fingerprints.
An important role in maintaining health
Research on these specific viruses found in the microbiomes of our intestine has become a major center of research for scientists in the last few years. This is also because these viruses play an important role in maintaining human health.
These billions of micro-organisms in our digestive system contain most of the bacteria, but gut virus populations are not only bacteria but also include parasites, fungi and viruses. Scientists have resorted to innovative techniques to detect them because it is not easy to list these superfluous bacteria.
Unlike viruses, any virus lacks a universal genomic marker. In fact, 40 to 90 percent of viral genomic sequences are known as ‘Viral Dark Matter’ which means that they are not aligned with the sequence of any known reference virus. So the first step for researchers was to find the virus in the human intestine and compile data from dozens of earlier studies. The dataset consisted of about 2 thousand people from 16 countries.
Machine learning identified viruses
The lead author of the research, Ann Gregory, said that he took the help of previously known viruses and used machine learning techniques to identify these unknown viruses in the gut. Gregory said that he was only interested in how many types of viruses we could find in the intestine.
So we determined how many types of genomes we could see. In the study, the machine learning algorithm detected an entire population of 33,242 unique viruses in the gut the microbiome, which scientists later listed as the ‘gut virome database’.
Number decreases as age increases
Researchers looked for patterns in the data of the virus found to test the effectiveness of this new database. They initially discovered that these diverse viruses found in the intestine (whose group is called the virome) actually increase as they age, but begin to decline after the age of 65. This pattern closely resembles the pattern of age-related diversity observed in gut bacterial populations, but no very notable exceptions were found. However, the number of viruses in the stomach was found to be higher than the population of bacteria in newborns with a dysfunctional immune system compared to adults.
More viruses mean better health
Gregory says that as there is a thumb rule in ecology, the higher the diversity in the natural environment, the more healthy the ecosystem will be. This rule also applies to these viruses found in the stomach. In fact, the more variety of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi in the microbiome of the body, the more healthy a person will be. In research, we noticed that healthy individuals had a greater diversity of viruses, indicating that these viruses potentially play a very important and positive role for our health.
An interesting point in this new research is that most of the catalogues listed were bacteriophages i.e. harmful viruses and bacteria that thrive on bacteria that digest the body-sick viruses. The study’s senior author, Matthew Sullivan, says there is a symbiotic relationship between these bacteriophages and bacteria in the gut microbiome. This new research was published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.