A twin study reveals that children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) have a less diverse and more immature gut virome than is found in healthy children, according to a report from researchers from the United States, Colombia, and Malawi (Reyes A et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi:10.1073/pnas.1514285112 [published online September 8, 2015]).
Prior studies have indicated that development of the bacterial community in the gut is perturbed in children with SAM compared with those without SAM, resulting in an immature gut microbiome that cannot be repaired with ready-to-use therapeutic food interventions. Less is known about the role of gut viruses in childhood malnutrition.
Friedrich MJ. Gut Virome Associated With Malnutrition in Children. JAMA. 2015;314(15):1553. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13037