Over the past decade, many studies have established linkages between the microbiome and states of health and disease. By contrast, understanding of the corresponding virome (i.e., the set of all viruses, both eukaryotic and prokaryotic, in a given niche) has lagged substantially behind. There are relatively few virome studies in comparison to microbiome studies. Nonetheless, in recent years, there has been an increasing recognition of the importance of the virome as it has been associated with diseases such as HIV and SIV infection [1, 2], inflammatory bowel disease [3], malnutrition [4], graft-versus-host disease [5], and type 1 diabetes [6, 7]. The identification of virome associations with disease is reminiscent of the descriptive studies that emerged in the early days of the bacterial microbiome.

 

National Cancer Institute \ Univ. of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, Steve Seung-Young Lee

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Citation Wang D (2020) 5 challenges in understanding the role of the virome in health and disease. PLoS Pathog 16(3): e1008318. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008318