Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23732099
Med Sci (Paris) 2013 May;29(5):501-8
Human, animal and plant viral diseases have greatly benefited from recent metagenomics developments. Viral metagenomics is a culture-independent approach used to investigate the complete viral genetic populations of a sample. During the last decade, metagenomics concepts and techniques that were first used by ecologists progressively spread into the scientific field of viral pathology. The sample, which was first for ecologists a fraction of ecosystem, became for pathologists an organism that hosts millions of microbes and viruses. This new approach, providing without a priori high resolution qualitative and quantitative data on the viral diversity, is now revolutionizing the way pathologists decipher viral diseases. This review describes the very last improvements of the high throughput next generation sequencing methods and discusses the applications of viral metagenomics in viral pathology, including discovery of novel viruses, viral surveillance and diagnostic, large-scale molecular epidemiology, and viral evolution.