The gut virome in inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis: From metagenomics to novel therapeutic approaches

Federica Ungaro, Luca Massimino, Silvia D’Alessio, Silvio Danese

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The association of intestinal dysbiosis with the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease has been well established. Besides bacteria, microbiota comprises yeasts, archaea, protists and viruses, neglected actors in inflammatory bowel disease-associated microbiota. In the past, a great limitation in studying microbiota composition was the low sensitivity of sequencing technologies and that few computational approaches were sufficient to thoroughly analyse the whole microbiome. However, new cutting-edge technologies in nucleic acid sequencing, -omics analysis and the innovative statistics and bioinformatics pipelines made possible more sensitive and accurate metagenomics, ultimately identifying novel players in intestinal inflammation, including prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses, that together form the gut virome. The discovery of peculiar inflammatory bowel disease-associated microbial strains will not only shed new light on inflammatory bowel disease aetiogenesis, they may also support the development of novel therapeutic strategies not merely treating symptoms, but precisely counteracting the primary cause of chronic intestinal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1007
Number of pages9
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • metagenomics
  • microbiota
  • next-generation sequencing
  • virome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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