The composition of gastrointestinal tract viromes has been associated with multiple diseases. Our understanding of virus communities in the GI tract is still very limited due to challenges in sampling from different GI sites. Here we defined the GI viromes of 15 rhesus macaques with chronic diarrhea. Luminal content samples from terminal ileum, proximal and distal colon were collected at necropsy while samples from the rectum were collected antemortem using a fecal loop. The composition of and ecological parameters associated with the terminal ileum virome were distinct from the colon and rectum samples; these differences were driven by bacteriophages rather than eukaryotic viruses. The six contigs that were most discriminative of the viromes were distantly related to bacteriophages from three different families. Our analysis provides support for using fecal loop sampling of the rectum as a proxy of the colonic virome in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019


  • Bacteriophages
  • Biogeography
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal virome


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