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Microorganisms. 2018 Jun 16;6(2). pii: E54. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms6020054.

Bacteriophages as New Human Viral Pathogens.

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Human Microbiology Institute, 101 6th Street, New York, NY 10013, USA.
Human Microbiology Institute, 101 6th Street, New York, NY 10013, USA.
Tetz Laboratories, 423W 127th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA.


The pathogenesis of numerous human multifaceted devastating diseases, including a variety of neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases, is associated with alterations in the gut microbiota; however, the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. Our recent human metagenome and phagobiota proteome analyses and studies in relevant animal models suggested that bacterial viruses might be implicated in the progression and maintenance of at least some pathologies, including those associated with protein misfolding. Here, for the first time, we propose the concept of bacteriophages as human pathogens. We suggest that bacterial viruses have different ways to directly and indirectly interact with eukaryotic cells and proteins, leading to human diseases. Furthermore, we suggest different causes of bacteriophages infection on the basis of the unique ways of interplay of phages, microbiota, and the human host. This concept opens a discussion of the role of bacteriophages as previously overlooked pathogenic factors and suggests that bacterial viruses have to be further explored as a diagnostic and treatment target for therapeutic intervention.


Alzheimer’s disease; PAMPs; Parkinson’s disease; autoimmune; bacteriophage; microbiota; microbiota disease; neurodegeneration; phagobiome; phagobiota

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