Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33652230
Link to DOI – S1879-6257(21)00012-210.1016/j.coviro.2021.02.002
Curr Opin Virol 2021 Feb; 47: 86-94
Viruses are ubiquitous, essential components of any ecosystem, and of multicellular organism holobionts. Numerous viruses cause acute infection, killing the host or being cleared by immune system. In many other cases, viruses coexist with the host as symbionts, either temporarily or for the duration of the host’s life. Apparently, virus-host relationships span the entire range from aggressive parasitism to mutualism. Here we attempt to delineate the healthy human virome, that is, the entirety of viruses that are present in a healthy human body. The bulk of the healthy virome consists of bacteriophages infecting bacteria in the intestine and other locations. However, a variety of viruses, such as anelloviruses and herpesviruses, and the numerous endogenous retroviruses, persist by replicating in human cells, and these are our primary focus. Crucially, the boundary between symbiotic and pathogenic viruses is fluid such that members of the healthy virome can become pathogens under changing conditions.