Metagenomic Insights into the Sewage RNA Virosphere of a Large City.
ABSTRACT: Sewage-associated viruses can cause several human and animal diseases, such as gastroenteritis, hepatitis, and respiratory infections. Therefore, their detection in wastewater can reflect current infections within the source population. To date, no viral study has been performed using the sewage of any large South American city. In this study, we used viral metagenomics to obtain a single sample snapshot of the RNA virosphere in the wastewater from Santiago de Chile, the seventh largest city in the Americas. Despite the overrepresentation of dsRNA viruses, our results show that Santiago's sewage RNA virosphere was composed mostly of unknown sequences (88%), while known viral sequences were dominated by viruses that infect bacteria (60%), invertebrates (37%) and humans (2.4%). Interestingly, we discovered three novel genogroups within the Picobirnaviridae family that can fill major gaps in this taxa's evolutionary history. We also demonstrated the dominance of emerging Rotavirus genotypes, such as G8 and G6, that have displaced other classical genotypes, which is consistent with recent clinical reports. This study supports the usefulness of sewage viral metagenomics for public health surveillance. Moreover, it demonstrates the need to monitor the viral component during the wastewater treatment and recycling process, where this virome can constitute a reservoir of human pathogens.
Project description:The large diversity of viruses that exist in human populations are potentially excreted into sewage collection systems and concentrated in sewage sludge. In the U.S., the primary fate of processed sewage sludge (class B biosolids) is application to agricultural land as a soil amendment. To characterize and understand infectious risks associated with land application, and to describe the diversity of viruses in human populations, shotgun viral metagenomics was applied to 10 sewage sludge samples from 5 wastewater treatment plants throughout the continental U.S, each serving between 100,000 and 1,000,000 people. Nearly 330 million DNA sequences were produced and assembled, and annotation resulted in identifying 43 (26 DNA, 17 RNA) different types of human viruses in sewage sludge. Novel insights include the high abundance of newly emerging viruses (e.g., Coronavirus HKU1, Klassevirus, and Cosavirus) the strong representation of respiratory viruses, and the relatively minor abundance and occurrence of Enteroviruses. Viral metagenome sequence annotations were reproducible and independent PCR-based identification of selected viruses suggests that viral metagenomes were a conservative estimate of the true viral occurrence and diversity. These results represent the most complete description of human virus diversity in any wastewater sample to date, provide engineers and environmental scientists with critical information on important viral agents and routes of infection from exposure to wastewater and sewage sludge, and represent a significant leap forward in understanding the pathogen content of class B biosolids.
Project description:For over a century, viruses have been known as the most abundant and diverse group of organisms on Earth, forming a virosphere. Based on extensive meta-analyses, we present, for the first time, a wide and complete overview of virus-host network, covering all known viral species. Our data indicate that most of known viral species, regardless of their genomic category, have an intriguingly narrow host range, infecting only 1 or 2 host species. Our data also show that the known virosphere has expanded based on viruses of human interest, related to economical, medical or biotechnological activities. In addition, we provide an overview of the distribution of viruses on different environments on Earth, based on meta-analyses of available metaviromic data, showing the contrasting ubiquity of head-tailed phages against the specificity of some viral groups in certain environments. Finally, we uncovered all human viral species, exploring their diversity and the most affected organic systems. The virus-host network presented here shows an anthropocentric view of the virology. It is therefore clear that a huge effort and change in perspective is necessary to see more than the tip of the iceberg when it comes to virology.
Project description:Deep sequencing of untreated sewage provides an opportunity to monitor enteric infections in large populations and for high-throughput viral discovery. A metagenomics analysis of purified viral particles in untreated sewage from the United States (San Francisco, CA), Nigeria (Maiduguri), Thailand (Bangkok), and Nepal (Kathmandu) revealed sequences related to 29 eukaryotic viral families infecting vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants (BLASTx E score, <10(-4)), including known pathogens (>90% protein identities) in numerous viral families infecting humans (Adenoviridae, Astroviridae, Caliciviridae, Hepeviridae, Parvoviridae, Picornaviridae, Picobirnaviridae, and Reoviridae), plants (Alphaflexiviridae, Betaflexiviridae, Partitiviridae, Sobemovirus, Secoviridae, Tombusviridae, Tymoviridae, Virgaviridae), and insects (Dicistroviridae, Nodaviridae, and Parvoviridae). The full and partial genomes of a novel kobuvirus, salivirus, and sapovirus are described. A novel astrovirus (casa astrovirus) basal to those infecting mammals and birds, potentially representing a third astrovirus genus, was partially characterized. Potential new genera and families of viruses distantly related to members of the single-stranded RNA picorna-like virus superfamily were genetically characterized and named Picalivirus, Secalivirus, Hepelivirus, Nedicistrovirus, Cadicistrovirus, and Niflavirus. Phylogenetic analysis placed these highly divergent genomes near the root of the picorna-like virus superfamily, with possible vertebrate, plant, or arthropod hosts inferred from nucleotide composition analysis. Circular DNA genomes distantly related to the plant-infecting Geminiviridae family were named Baminivirus, Nimivirus, and Niminivirus. These results highlight the utility of analyzing sewage to monitor shedding of viral pathogens and the high viral diversity found in this common pollutant and provide genetic information to facilitate future studies of these newly characterized viruses.
Project description:Recent metagenomics studies have revealed several tick species to host a variety of previously undiscovered RNA viruses. <i>Ixodes ricinus</i>, which is known to be a vector for many viral, bacterial, and protozoan pathogens, is the most prevalent tick species in Europe. For this study, we decided to investigate the virosphere of Belgian <i>I. ricinus</i> ticks. High-throughput sequencing of tick pools collected from six different sampling sites revealed the presence of viruses belonging to many different viral orders and families, including <i>Mononegavirales, Bunyavirales</i>, <i>Partitiviridae</i>, and <i>Reoviridae</i>. Of particular interest was the detection of several new reoviruses, two of which cluster together with members of the genus <i>Coltivirus</i>. This includes a new strain of Eyach virus, a known causative agent of tick-borne encephalitis. All genome segments of this new strain are highly similar to those of previously published Eyach virus genomes, except for the fourth segment, encoding VP4, which is markedly more dissimilar, potentially indicating the occurrence of a genetic reassortment. Further polymerase chain reaction-based screening of over 230 tick pools for 14 selected viruses showed that most viruses could be found in all six sampling sites, indicating the wide spread of these viruses throughout the Belgian tick population. Taken together, these results illustrate the role of ticks as important virus reservoirs, highlighting the need for adequate tick control measures.
Project description:Bacteriophages are abundant members of all microbiomes studied to date, influencing microbial communities through interactions with their bacterial hosts. Despite their functional importance and ubiquity, phages have been underexplored in urban environments compared to their bacterial counterparts. We profiled the viral communities in New York City (NYC) wastewater using metagenomic data collected in November 2014 from 14 wastewater treatment plants. We show that phages accounted for the largest viral component of the sewage samples and that specific virus communities were associated with local environmental conditions within boroughs. The vast majority of the virus sequences had no homology matches in public databases, forming an average of 1,700 unique virus clusters (putative genera). These new clusters contribute to elucidating the overwhelming proportion of data that frequently goes unidentified in viral metagenomic studies. We assigned potential hosts to these phages, which appear to infect a wide range of bacterial genera, often outside their presumed host. We determined that infection networks form a modular-nested pattern, indicating that phages include a range of host specificities, from generalists to specialists, with most interactions organized into distinct groups. We identified genes in viral contigs involved in carbon and sulfur cycling, suggesting functional importance of viruses in circulating pathways and gene functions in the wastewater environment. In addition, we identified virophage genes as well as a nearly complete novel virophage genome. These findings provide an understanding of phage abundance and diversity in NYC wastewater, previously uncharacterized, and further examine geographic patterns of phage-host association in urban environments.IMPORTANCE Wastewater is a rich source of microbial life and contains bacteria, viruses, and other microbes found in human waste as well as environmental runoff sources. As part of an effort to characterize the New York City wastewater metagenome, we profiled the viral community of sewage samples across all five boroughs of NYC and found that local sampling sites have unique sets of viruses. We focused on bacteriophages, or viruses of bacteria, to understand how they may influence the microbial ecology of this system. We identified several new clusters of phages and successfully associated them with bacterial hosts, providing insight into virus-host interactions in urban wastewater. This study provides a first look into the viral communities present across the wastewater system in NYC and points to their functional importance in this environment.
Project description:The deep biosphere contains members from all three domains of life along with viruses. Here we investigate the deep terrestrial virosphere by sequencing community nucleic acids from three groundwaters of contrasting chemistries, origins, and ages. These viromes constitute a highly unique community compared to other environmental viromes and sequenced viral isolates. Viral host prediction suggests that many of the viruses are associated with Firmicutes and Patescibacteria, a superphylum lacking previously described active viruses. RNA transcript-based activity implies viral predation in the shallower marine water-fed groundwater, while the deeper and more oligotrophic waters appear to be in 'metabolic standby'. Viral encoded antibiotic production and resistance systems suggest competition and antagonistic interactions. The data demonstrate a viral community with a wide range of predicted hosts that mediates nutrient recycling to support a higher microbial turnover than previously anticipated. This suggests the presence of 'kill-the-winner' oscillations creating slow motion 'boom and burst' cycles.
Project description:Prokaryotes, bacteria and archaea, are the most abundant cellular organisms among those sharing the planet Earth with human beings (among others). However, numerous ecological studies have revealed that it is actually prokaryotic viruses that predominate on our planet and outnumber their hosts by at least an order of magnitude. An understanding of how this viral domain is organized and what are the mechanisms governing its evolution is therefore of great interest and importance. The vast majority of characterized prokaryotic viruses belong to the order Caudovirales, double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophages with tails. Consequently, these viruses have been studied (and reviewed) extensively from both genomic and functional perspectives. However, albeit numerous, tailed phages represent only a minor fraction of the prokaryotic virus diversity. Therefore, the knowledge which has been generated for this viral system does not offer a comprehensive view of the prokaryotic virosphere. In this review, we discuss all families of bacterial and archaeal viruses that contain more than one characterized member and for which evolutionary conclusions can be attempted by use of comparative genomic analysis. We focus on the molecular mechanisms of their genome evolution as well as on the relationships between different viral groups and plasmids. It becomes clear that evolutionary mechanisms shaping the genomes of prokaryotic viruses vary between different families and depend on the type of the nucleic acid, characteristics of the virion structure, as well as the mode of the life cycle. We also point out that horizontal gene transfer is not equally prevalent in different virus families and is not uniformly unrestricted for diverse viral functions.
Project description:The use of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) for virus diagnostics, as well as the importance of this technology as a valuable tool for discovery of novel viruses has been extensively investigated. In this review, we consider the application of HTS approaches to uncover novel plant viruses with a focus on the negative-sense, single-stranded RNA virosphere. Plant viruses with negative-sense and ambisense RNA (NSR) genomes belong to several taxonomic families, including Rhabdoviridae, Aspiviridae, Fimoviridae, Tospoviridae, and Phenuiviridae. They include both emergent pathogens that infect a wide range of plant species, and potential endophytes which appear not to induce any visible symptoms. As a consequence of biased sampling based on a narrow focus on crops with disease symptoms, the number of NSR plant viruses identified so far represents only a fraction of this type of viruses present in the virosphere. Detection and molecular characterization of NSR viruses has often been challenging, but the widespread implementation of HTS has facilitated not only the identification but also the characterization of the genomic sequences of at least 70 NSR plant viruses in the last 7 years. Moreover, continuing advances in HTS technologies and bioinformatic pipelines, concomitant with a significant cost reduction has led to its use as a routine method of choice, supporting the foundations of a diverse array of novel applications such as quarantine analysis of traded plant materials and genetic resources, virus detection in insect vectors, analysis of virus communities in individual plants, and assessment of virus evolution through ecogenomics, among others. The insights from these advancements are shedding new light on the extensive diversity of NSR plant viruses and their complex evolution, and provide an essential framework for improved taxonomic classification of plant NSR viruses as part of the realm Riboviria. Thus, HTS-based methods for virus discovery, our ‘new eyes,’ are unraveling in real time the richness and magnitude of the plant RNA virosphere.
Project description:The ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection has spread rapidly worldwide. The major transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2 are recognised as inhalation of aerosol/droplets and person-to-person contact. However, some studies have demonstrated that live SARS-CoV-2 can be isolated from the faeces and urine of infected patients, which can then enter the wastewater system. The currently available evidence indicates that the viral RNA present in wastewater may become a potential source of epidemiological data. However, to investigate whether wastewater may present a risk to humans such as sewage workers, we investigated whether intact particles of SARS-CoV-2 were observable and whether it was possible to isolate the virus in wastewater. Using a correlative strategy of light microscopy and electron microscopy (CLEM), we demonstrated the presence of intact and degraded SARS-like particles in RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive sewage sample collected in the city of Marseille. However, the viral infectivity assessment of SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater was inconclusive, due to the presence of other viruses known to be highly resistant in the environment such as enteroviruses, rhinoviruses, and adenoviruses. Although the survival and the infectious risk of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater cannot be excluded from our study, additional work may be required to investigate the stability, viability, fate, and decay mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 thoroughly in wastewater.
Project description:The history of giant viruses began in 2003 with the identification of Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus. Since then, giant viruses of amoeba enlightened an unknown part of the viral world, and every discovery and characterization of a new giant virus modifies our perception of the virosphere. This notably includes their exceptional virion sizes from 200 nm to 2 µm and their genomic complexity with length, number of genes, and functions such as translational components never seen before. Even more surprising, Mimivirus possesses a unique mobilome composed of virophages, transpovirons, and a defense system against virophages named Mimivirus virophage resistance element (MIMIVIRE). From the discovery and isolation of new giant viruses to their possible roles in humans, this review shows the active contribution of the University Hospital Institute (IHU) Mediterranee Infection to the growing knowledge of the giant viruses' field.