University of Oulu

Megremis, S., Constantinides, B., Xepapadaki, P. et al. Respiratory eukaryotic virome expansion and bacteriophage deficiency characterize childhood asthma. Sci Rep 13, 8319 (2023).

Respiratory eukaryotic virome expansion and bacteriophage deficiency characterize childhood asthma

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Author: Megremis, Spyridon1,2; Constantinides, Bede3; Xepapadaki, Paraskevi4;
Organizations: 1University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
2University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
3University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
4National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
5University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
6University of Southern Queensland, Queensland, Australia
7University of Münster, Münster, Germany
8Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nurnberg, Erlangen, Germany
9University of Turku, Turku, Finland
10University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
11Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece
12University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-29


Asthma development and exacerbation is linked to respiratory virus infections. There is limited information regarding the presence of viruses during non-exacerbation/infection periods. We investigated the nasopharyngeal/nasal virome during a period of asymptomatic state, in a subset of 21 healthy and 35 asthmatic preschool children from the Predicta cohort. Using metagenomics, we described the virome ecology and the cross-species interactions within the microbiome. The virome was dominated by eukaryotic viruses, while prokaryotic viruses (bacteriophages) were independently observed with low abundance. Rhinovirus B species consistently dominated the virome in asthma. Anelloviridae were the most abundant and rich family in both health and asthma. However, their richness and alpha diversity were increased in asthma, along with the co-occurrence of different Anellovirus genera. Bacteriophages were richer and more diverse in healthy individuals. Unsupervised clustering identified three virome profiles that were correlated to asthma severity and control and were independent of treatment, suggesting a link between the respiratory virome and asthma. Finally, we observed different cross-species ecological associations in the healthy versus the asthmatic virus-bacterial interactome, and an expanded interactome of eukaryotic viruses in asthma. Upper respiratory virome “dysbiosis” appears to be a novel feature of pre-school asthma during asymptomatic/non-infectious states and merits further investigation.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 13
Article number: 8319
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-34730-7
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: The study acquired funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme CURE under grant agreement No 767015, and the European FP7-Health programme PREDICTA under Grant agreement ID: 260895. CURE: “Constructing a ‘Eubiosis Reinstatement Therapy’ for Asthma”. PREDICTA: “Post-infectious immune reprogramming and its association with persistence and chronicity of respiratory allergic diseases”. Disclaimer of EU responsibility: The content of this publication reflects only the views of its authors. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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