A virus is a small microscopic parasite that is smaller than bacteria but causes more infections. These viruses in human gut microbiota affect their health. The human gut microbe is widely known as the biodiverse environment as numerous bacteria and viruses live there. In addition to bacteria, thousands of viruses also live there that affect the bacteria, known as bacteriophage. 

Imbalances in the gut microbiota might cause infections and diseases like obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and allergies. Whereas sometimes, the viruses in gut microbiota might also save type 2 diabetic patients. Researchers from Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have found nearly 140,000 viruses in the human gut. Among them, half of the viruses we have never seen before. 

In recent research, scientists found 28,000 virus cells from human gut microbes. Among them, a group of viruses is said to have a common ancestor. It is known as Gubaphage, which was found to be the widespread second most virus clade in the human gut microbiota after crAssphage. Both crAssphage and gubaphage seem to affect a similar type of human gut bacteria. But the function of gubaphage is unaware, and the researchers are working on it. 

Luis F. Camarillo-Guerrero, a Ph.D. student at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and first author of the study, noted that “A stringent quality control pipeline coupled with a machine learning approach enabled us to mitigate contamination and obtain highly complete viral genomes. High-quality viral genomes pave the way to understand better what role viruses play in our gut microbiome. It includes the discovery of new treatments such as antimicrobials from bacteriophage origin.”

The senior author of this study Trevor Lawley,  concludes the research by saying that “Bacteriophage research is currently experiencing a renaissance. This high-quality, large-scale catalog of human gut viruses comes at the right time to serve as a blueprint to guide ecological and evolutionary analysis in future virome studies.”