Viral and Bacterial Communities of Colorectal Cancer
Geoffrey D Hannigan, Melissa B Duhaime, Mack T Ruffin IV, Charlie C Koumpouras, and Patrick D Schloss
Viruses are assocaited with many human cancers, largely due to their mutagenic and functionally manipulative abilities. Despite this, cancer microbiome studies have almost exclusively focused on bacteria instead of viruses. We began evaluating the cancer virome by focusing on colorectal cancer, a primary cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world, and a cancer linked to altered colonic bacterial community compositions while the virome role remains unknown. We used 16S rRNA gene, whole shotgun metagenomic, and puri ed virus metagenomic sequencing of stool to evaluate the di erences in human colorectal cancer virus and bacterial community composition. Through random forest modeling we identi ed di erences in the healthy and colorectal cancer virome. The cancer-associated virome consisted primarily of temperate bacteriophages that were also bacteria-virus community network hubs. These results provide foundational evidence that bacteriophage communities are associated with colorectal cancer and likely impact cancer progression by altering the bacterial host communities.