Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31383878
Sci Rep 2019 Aug;9(1):11331
The microbiota of the human gut is a complex and rich community where bacteria and their viruses, the bacteriophages, are dominant. There are few studies on the phage community and no clear standard for isolating them, sequencing and analysing their genomes. Since this makes comparisons between studies difficult, we aimed at defining an easy, low-cost, and reproducible methodology. We analysed five different techniques to isolate phages from human adult faeces and developed an approach to analyse their genomes in order to quantify contamination and classify phage contigs in terms of taxonomy and lifestyle. We chose the polyethylene glycol concentration method to isolate phages because of its simplicity, low cost, reproducibility, and of the high number and diversity of phage sequences that we obtained. We also tested the reproducibility of this method with multiple displacement amplification (MDA) and showed that MDA severely decreases the phage genetic diversity of the samples and the reproducibility of the method. Lastly, we studied the influence of sequencing depth on the analysis of phage diversity and observed the beginning of a plateau for phage contigs at 20,000,000 reads. This work contributes to the development of methods for the isolation of phages in faeces and for their comparative analysis.