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New gut virus discovered thought to be present in more half world’s population


A virus has been discovered that is present in at least 50% of the world population.

It is believed that the virus is self infecting and lives of one of the most common gut bacteria known as  Bacteroidetes. Bacteroidetes has been known as one of most common bacteria responsible for inflicting obesity, diabetes and other gut related diseases. The discovery was made public in Nature Communications earlier this week.  

The virus named as crAssphage, was stumbled on by accident. The discovery was by Bas Dutilh and Robert Edwards from San Diego State University who were screening for new viruses, analyzing the DNA in fecal samples from 12 people. It was noticed then how all the samples had a particular cluster of viral DNA about 97,000 base pairs long — that’s about 10 times as big as HIV. The researchers say that They found nothing like it among known viruses. 

The occurrence of re virus is thought to be in more then 50% of the population of the world. Some estimates suggests that the occurrence may even be as high as 75%. The hypothesis was declared when secondary investigation was undertaken by the researchers and found positive availability in 342 out of the 466 fecal samples collected for analysis, said in a news release. 

The widespread availability of of the virus suggests that the virus can not be young. 

Once it’s isolated, the researchers hope to explore the virus’s role in obesity. If crAssphage mediates the activity of Bacteriodetes colonies, it might have a hand in promoting or suppressing obesity-related processes. 

July 26, 2014

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