DYNAMICS OF THE GUT VIROME AND BACTERIAL MICROBIOME IN PEDIATRIC CROHN’S DISEASE PATIENTS
The human gut microbiome is a dynamic community of bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotic microbes that occupy the gastrointestinal tract. The bacterial microbiome in Crohn’s Disease (CD) patients has been well studied, but less is known about the gut virome. Exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) is an evolving first-line treatment for pediatric CD that has a modulatory effect on the bacterial microbiome, whose effect has yet to be characterized on the gut virome. We sought out to characterize the gut virome in 22 patients undergoing treatment for pediatric CD with EEN over a 96-week sampling period. We found that viral species diversity was enriched in samples with a lower disease activity score, and that diversity was associated with clinical markers. This is the first attempt at integrating viral and bacterial microbiome data in patients undergoing treatment for CD, and suggests that the gut virome may contribute to intestinal inflammation and CD pathogenesis.