Definition of IBD-associated gut virome via next-generation sequencing: Novel insights for disease onset and treatments
© Federica Ungaro
Aim of Research
Viral infections have been reported to be the primary trigger in many diseases. Preliminary results from RNA-seq analysis performed on mucosal biopsies of patients with active Crohn’s Disease (CD) or Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and healthy controls revealed indicated an IBD-specific viral signature, characterised by increased levels of viral RNAs, especially in patients with UC.
Although analyses on gut virome composition are available, to date nobody has described which viruses are involved in IBD onset. We propose characterising the viral composition of gut mucosal samples from early-diagnosed patients with IBD and healthy subjects by exploiting transcriptomic analysis. Moreover, through RNA silencing experiments, we will investigate whether the inhibition of viral-specific RNAs may be beneficial in mucosal biopsies from patients with active IBD. Results obtained from this study are expected to lead to the unveiling of a novel concept depicting IBD aetiopathogenesis as related to specific viral infections. This will arguably offer new therapeutic insights and promote the search for antiviral drugs for the treatment of IBD.