Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406926

Research Project: Elucidating the Factors that Determine the Ecology of Human Pathogens in Foods

Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research

Title: Gut phageome- an insight into the role and impact of the gut microbiome and their correlation with mammal health and diseases

item Zhang, Yujie
item SHARMA, SOMANSHU - Volunteer
item TOM, LOGAN - Volunteer
item Liao, Yen-Te
item Wu, Vivian

Submitted to: Microorganisms
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2023
Publication Date: 9/29/2023
Citation: Zhang, Y.N., Sharma, S., Tom, L., Liao, Y., Wu, V.C. 2023. Gut phageome- an insight into the role and impact of the gut microbiome and their correlation with mammal health and diseases. Microorganisms. 11(10). Article 2454.

Interpretive Summary: The mammalian gastrointestinal tract has diverse microbial communities containing bacteria, viruses, yeast, and fungi. Bacteriophages (phages) are part of the viruses that can infect bacteria and are prevalent in mammalian gut environments. This review provided new insights into the critical role of phage in the gut microbial communities and its correlation with mammalian health. Numerous studies discovered that phages are ubiquitous in the gastrointestinal tract and can shape the composition of the surrounding microorganisms. It has been found that the gut microbial communities from healthy mammalian animals maintain a stable and diverse phage population. The disruption of gut phage populations is often considered as an implication for various mammalian diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Phage therapy using phages to eliminate the target pathogenic bacteria in the gut environment has become an emerging field. Current promising therapeutic applications, including genetically engineered phages and fecal viral transplantations, render a meaningful framework for controlling and preventing mammalian gut-related diseases.

Technical Abstract: The gut microbiota, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, compose a diverse mammalian gut environment and are highly associated with host health. Bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, are the primary members of the gastrointestinal virome, known as the phageome. However, our knowledge regarding gut phageome remains minimal. This article reviews the critical role of gut phageome and its correlation with mammalian health. First, an overall profile of phages across the gastrointestinal tract and their dynamic roles in shaping the surrounding microorganisms was elucidated. Further, the impacts of the gut phageome on gastrointestinal fitness and the bacterial community were highlighted, together with the influence of diets on the gut phageome composition. Additionally, new reports on the role of gut phageome in the association of mammalian health and diseases were reviewed. Finally, a comprehensive update regarding the advanced phage benchwork and contributions of phage-based therapy to prevent/treat mammalian diseases was provided. The findings indicate gut phageome is closely correlated with mammal diseases and poses potential applications in clinical and agricultural fields. Future research is needed to uncover the underlying mechanism of phage-bacterial interactions in gut environments and explore the maintenance of mammalian health via phage-regulated gut microbiota.