The Human Virome: Viral Metagenomics, Relations with Human Diseases, and Therapeutic Applications

Geng Hao Bai, Sheng Chieh Lin, Yi Hsiang Hsu, Shih Yen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The human body is colonized by a wide range of microorganisms. The field of viromics has expanded since the first reports on the detection of viruses via metagenomic sequencing in 2002. With the continued development of reference materials and databases, viral metagenomic approaches have been used to explore known components of the virome and discover new viruses from various types of samples. The virome has attracted substantial interest since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Increasing numbers of studies and review articles have documented the diverse virome in various sites in the human body, as well as interactions between the human host and the virome with regard to health and disease. However, there have been few studies of direct causal relationships. Viral metagenomic analyses often lack standard references and are potentially subject to bias. Moreover, most virome-related review articles have focused on the gut virome and did not investigate the roles of the virome in other sites of the body in human disease. This review presents an overview of viral metagenomics, with updates regarding the relations between alterations in the human virome and the pathogenesis of human diseases, recent findings related to COVID-19, and therapeutic applications related to the human virome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number278
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Disease
  • Metagenome
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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