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Infection with Bacteroides Phage BV01 Alters the Host Transcriptome and Bile Acid Metabolism in a Common Human Gut Microbe.


Gut-associated phages are hypothesized to alter the abundance and activity of their bacterial hosts, contributing to human health and disease. Although temperate phages constitute a significant fraction of the gut virome, the effects of lysogenic infection are underexplored. We report that the temperate phage, Bacteroides phage BV01, broadly alters its host's transcriptome, the prominent human gut symbiont Bacteroides vulgatus. This alteration occurs through phage-induced repression of a tryptophan-rich sensory protein (TspO) and represses bile acid deconjugation. Because microbially modified bile acids are important signals for the mammalian host, this is a mechanism by which a phage may influence mammalian phenotypes. Furthermore, BV01 and its relatives in the proposed phage family Salyersviridae are ubiquitous in human gut metagenomes, infecting a broad range of Bacteroides hosts. These results demonstrate the complexity of phage-bacteria-mammal relationships and emphasize a need to better understand the role of temperate phages in the gut microbiome.

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