Gut-brain axis goes viral?
A recent article in “Cell Host & Microbiome” by Mayneris-Perxachs et. al. showed the importance of phage, the viruses that infect bacteria, in the gut microbiome. They were able to discover and then demonstrate that higher levels of a particular phage in the gut led to increased mental capacity.
Below is a direct quote of their summary.
“Growing evidence implicates the gut microbiome in cognition. Viruses, the most abundant life entities on the planet, are a commonly overlooked component of the gut virome, dominated by the Caudovirales and Microviridae bacteriophages. Here, we show in a discovery (n = 114) and a validation cohort (n = 942) that subjects with increased Caudovirales and Siphoviridae levels in the gut microbiome had better performance in executive processes and verbal memory. Conversely, increased Microviridae levels were linked to a greater impairment in executive abilities. Microbiota transplantation from human donors with increased specific Caudovirales (>90% from the Siphoviridae family) levels led to increased scores in the novel object recognition test in mice and up-regulated memory-promoting immediate early genes in the prefrontal cortex. Supplementation of the Drosophila diet with the 936 group of lactococcal Siphoviridae bacteriophages resulted in increased memory scores and upregulation of memory-involved brain genes. Thus, bacteriophages warrant consideration as novel actors in the microbiome-brain axis.”
Just goes to show how connected we are to everything!
The full paper is available free at