The cutaneous virome: from virology to personalized medicine Volume 27, issue 6, Novembre-Décembre 2023


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1 Inflammation, microbiome and immunosurveillance, Inserm UMR-996, Université Paris-Saclay, Bâtiment Henri Moissan, 17, avenue des Sciences, 91400 Orsay, France
2 Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, Laboratoire de Microbiologie, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
* Correspondance : C. Deback

The virome of the skin, defined as all viruses detected in the skin, represents a significant part of the microbiota. A much more recent discovery than the bacterial flora, the existence of the cutaneous virome has been revealed by recent metagenomic studies. The normal human skin virome is dominated by bacteriophages, Papillomaviridae, whose genomic diversity has proved extraordinary, and Polyomaviridae. Many yet unknown viral genomes within this virome await identification. The composition of the virome of the skin has been shown to be strictly individual and relatively stable over time, resulting from adaptation to everyone’s genetics, lifestyle and mechanisms of immunological tolerance finely selected over the course of evolution. Yet little studied, the virome of the skin and all its interactions with other microbiota and the host are attracting growing interest. Indeed, constitutional or acquired alterations in the homeostasis between the commensal virome and the skin, ranging from sub-clinical viral dysbiosis to severe transformation of keratinocytes or adnexal cells, have been observed. These recent observations are stimulating the search for innovative solutions aimed at measuring or even modulating its pathological expression, with a view to personalized medicine.