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Chapter 39 : The Human Virome
Category: Clinical Microbiology
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The human microbiome is the collection of hundreds of trillions of microorganisms and their genomes that colonize the human body. Recent advances in sequencing technology have allowed these communities and their function to be characterized and defined in detail. While the bacterial members of the microbiome have received the bulk of the attention, the viral members, the human virome, promise to be no less important. This chapter describes these recent advances in the methods for metagenomic studies, highlights key early findings, and looks ahead to the remaining challenges to implementing viral metagenomics and human virome techniques in the clinical setting for diagnostic purposes.