Highly host-linked viromes in the built environment possess habitat-dependent diversity and functions for potential virus-host coevolution

Shicong Du, Xinzhao Tong, Alvin C.K. Lai, Chak K. Chan, Christopher E. Mason, Patrick K.H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Viruses in built environments (BEs) raise public health concerns, yet they are generally less studied than bacteria. To better understand viral dynamics in BEs, this study assesses viromes from 11 habitats across four types of BEs with low to high occupancy. The diversity, composition, metabolic functions, and lifestyles of the viromes are found to be habitat dependent. Caudoviricetes species are ubiquitous on surface habitats in the BEs, and some of them are distinct from those present in other environments. Antimicrobial resistance genes are identified in viruses inhabiting surfaces frequently touched by occupants and in viruses inhabiting occupants’ skin. Diverse CRISPR/Cas immunity systems and anti-CRISPR proteins are found in bacterial hosts and viruses, respectively, consistent with the strongly coupled virus–host links. Evidence of viruses potentially aiding host adaptation in a specific-habitat manner is identified through a unique gene insertion. This work illustrates that virus–host interactions occur frequently in BEs and that viruses are integral members of BE microbiomes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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