The variety of Viruses and their life cycles are poorly understood in the human gut and other body habitats.
Phages and their encoded functions may provide information of a human microbiota and of microbial community responses to various disturbances.
This paper reports sequencing of the viromes (metagenomes) of virus-like particles isolated from faecal samples collected from healthy adult female monozygotic twins and their mothers at three time points over a one-year period.
They compared these results sets with data sets of sequenced bacterial16S ribosomal RNA genes and total-faecal-community DNA.
The co-twins and their mothers share a significantly greater degree of similarity in their faecal bacterial communities than do unrelated individuals.
In contrast, viromes are unique to individuals regardless of their degree of genetic relatedness. Despite remarkable interpersonal variations in viromes and their encoded functions, intra personal diversity is very low, with >95% of virotypes retained over the period surveyed, and with viromes dominated by a few temperate phages that exhibit remarkable genetic stability.
Reyes et al 2010 Viruses in the faecal microbiota of monozygotic twins and their mothers Nature vol 466 pp 334-338
- Martin Eastwood