Tens of thousands of viruses found in human products were unknown to science

More than 50,000 viruses were discovered by scientists when studying human waste products. All of them reside in our intestines, and more than 90% of them have been recently discovered. Information about the unusual study has been published by the Nature Microbiology.

Moreover, the scientists who conducted the study found that most of these viruses are bacteriophages, that is, they are viruses harmful only to bacteria living in the intestines. They are not dangerous to humans.

When we talk about viruses, we are mostly referring to those that cause acute respiratory infections, but for many thousands of years we have had a whole host of these microorganisms successfully living in the gastrointestinal tract, which all together form the human microbiome. The various living organisms that coexist in the human gut are responsible for the success of a large number of aspects of our health.

For example, they destroy bacteria that are harmful to humans, form immunity in childhood and regulate the immune system in adults, affect our mental state and, of course, help us obtain nutrients from food. And despite the fact that the human intestine is now extremely well studied by biologists, more than half of the bacteria living there have never yet been able to be grown artificially.