How Good Viruses May Influence Health

How ‘good’ viruses may influence health – Scientists consider the virome to be “the largest, the most diverse, and the most dynamic part of [the] microbiome,” and the majority of the viruses are bacteriophages. Wherever there are bacteria, there are bacteriophages in abundance. Bacteriophages infect bacteria, commandeer their cell machinery, and use it to replicate their genetic material. It is now abundantly clear that bacteria influence health and disease, so it is no surprise that viruses that infect bacteria may have a significant influence, too. Phage therapy- scientists investigated whether bacteriophages could be used to treat bacterial infections. After all, these viruses are adept at destroying human pathogens. Scientists found that phage therapy was both effective and, importantly, free from side effects. When antibiotics were discovered, phage therapy faded into the background. Antibiotics could be manufactured with relative ease, Researchers have observed changes in bacteria in a surprisingly varied range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and many more. As an example, there is the potential to use the virome as a diagnostic marker.

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