Little do you know that thousands of viruses and bacteria live in your microbiome, keeping your gut and the rest of your body healthy.

Little do you know that thousands of viruses and bacteria live in your microbiome, keeping your gut and the rest of your body healthy.

The Inner Human Microbes

Science says that the human body hosts thousands of microbes that are collectively referred to as the microbiome. Many parts of the human body hold a distinct community of microbes like the nasal microbiome, skin microbiome, gut microbiome, and more.

Among all the microbiomes in the human body, the gut microbiome is the highlight of many studies and has earned a special place in the scientific community as the star of microbiomes.

The microbes currently dwelling in your intestines are becoming a rising research focus, with studies on its potential impacts on our life constantly getting published.

The resident microbial in the human body is thought to affect how food is metabolized and how we get hungry, the risks for certain diseases like Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease, and even our personality traits. The microbes can also influence a person’s risks for cancer and could potentially aid chemotherapy results.

The effects of microbial on the body are mediated by chemicals produced that affect what we eat and the relationship of the gut with the rest of the bodily process.

The majority of studies focus on the link between diseases and a group of bacteria. Microbes are more than bacteria; specific fungi and archaea are contained in the microbiome, plus viruses.

Miniature World of Bacteria

A microbiome isn’t just another system in the body; it is, in fact, a complex ecosystem where predators, prey, and parasites live and thrive.

Bacteriophages are viruses that target bacteria. And with the plethora of bacteria roaming the microbiome, there are bacteriophages as well.

A study published in the journal Cell entitled “Massive expansion of human gut bacteriophage diversity” mined a dataset of more than 28,000 genomic information on human gut microbiomes, including 3,000 reference genomes of well-known human gut bacteria.

The study found that there are roughly 142,000 non-redundant viral materials in microbiomes. These genomes can be grouped into viral clusters and bacteriophages, often occurring together.

Researchers found that some groups of bacteria promoted bacteriophage diversity in the microbiome, such as Roseburia, Lachnospira, Agaathocater co-occurred with viral clusters Lactobacillus H, Enterococcus D, and Pediococcus, to name a few.

The study also found a correlation between lifestyles and the ‘phageome.’ Researchers say that there was a clear separation observed of the European, North American, and Asian phageomes from samples from South America and Africa.

The lifestyle differences are thought to involve urbanization between samples from different countries.

The team acknowledges that the study isn’t definitive evidence of how bacteriophages independently influence gut bacteria and bodily processes. However, the study is a vital cornerstone for future researches on the complex relationship between bacteriophages, viruses, and human hosts.

Originally published at The Science Times