Metagenomic analysis of double-stranded DNA viruses in healthy adults.

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was undertaken with the
goal of defining microbial communities in and on the bodies of healthy
individuals using high-throughput, metagenomic sequencing analysis. The
viruses present in these microbial communities, the `human virome¿, are
an important aspect of the human microbiome that is particularly
understudied in the absence of overt disease. We analyzed eukaryotic
double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses, together with dsDNA replicative
intermediates of single-stranded DNA viruses, in metagenomic sequence
data generated by the HMP. 706 samples from 102 subjects were studied,
with each subject sampled at up to five major body habitats: nose, skin,
mouth, vagina, and stool. Fifty-one individuals had samples taken at
two or three time points 30 to 359 days apart from at least one of the
body habitats.ResultsWe detected an average of 5.5 viral genera in each
individual. At least 1 virus was detected in 92% of the individuals
sampled. These viruses included herpesviruses, papillomaviruses,
polyomaviruses, adenoviruses, anelloviruses, parvoviruses, and
circoviruses. Each individual had a distinct viral profile,
demonstrating the high interpersonal diversity of the virome. Some
components of the virome were stable over time.ConclusionsThis study is
the first to use high-throughput DNA sequencing to describe the
diversity of eukaryotic dsDNA viruses in a large cohort of normal
individuals who were sampled at multiple body sites. Our results show
that the human virome is a complex component of the microbial flora.
Some viruses establish long-term infections that may be associated with
increased risk or possibly with protection from disease. A better
understanding of the composition and dynamics of the virome may hold
important keys to human health.

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