Gut virus 'affects half the world's population'

21 July 2014

There is a virus living inside half of the world's population that has been undetected by scientists for decades, according to a new study in the Netherlands.

The report, which was carried out by researchers at San Diego State University, reveals that over 50 per cent of people are host to the crAssphage virus, which infects one of the most common types of gut bacteria, Bacteroidetes.

This phylum of bacteria is thought to be connected with obesity, diabetes and other gut-related diseases, according to Robert Edwards, a bioinformatics professor at the university, who published the report in the journal Nature Communications, along with SDSU virologist John Mokili.

They used a technique known as DNA amplification to locate the virus in human samples used to build the National Institute of Health’s Human Microbiome Project, and came up with "indisputable biological proof" that the virus exists, Mr Mokili said.

Professor Edwards added: "It’s not unusual to go looking for a novel virus and find one. But it’s very unusual to find one that so many people have in common. The fact that it’s flown under the radar for so long is very strange."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

General Surgery

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)