Special Issue "Virome and Viral Diseases"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna Rosa Garbuglia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lab. of Virology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases INMI L. Spallanzani, Rome, Italy
Interests: Virus evolution; molecular diagnostics; Viral hepatitis; Human Papillomavirus; Next Generation Sequencing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since 2003, when the term “virome” appeared in a scientific paper, many efforts have been made to understand viral diversity and pathogenicity. There has been an increasing number of findings that underline the relevance of viromes in human diseases such as bowel disease, type I diabetes, graft-versus-host disease and HIV. However, knowledge of the viruses considered to directly infect humans remains incomplete. Metagenomics assays can theoretically detect all pathogens, but often they fail to detect viruses because of their low viral load and small genome. The presence of bacterial and fungal genomes can be accurately detected through consensus PCR approaches that target the 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) loci, respectively. Conversely, there are no analogous conserved sequences in any virus. Thus, viral sequences found in metagenomic analysis must be aligned with both nucleotide and amino acid levels in a large reference database of viral sequences, and the amplicon pairwise results are often not suitable for proper virus identification. In most virome studies, more than 50% of sequences in virus-enriched preparation had shown sequences with no similarity to any known reference sequences. These unalignable sequences, referred to as “dark matter”, could include new viruses, but the conventional alignment methods are not able to classify them. Thus, virome studies currently present only a partial description of the real virome in a specimen because the dark matter sequences are often ignored. Another bias in virome analysis is the focus on only sequencing of DNA. This is due to the fact that the bacterial microbiome is the primary objective of many metagenomics studies, so that, in experimental protocols, DNA is extracted from nucleic acids without regard to either preserve or recover the RNA. This could lead to incomplete or incorrect conclusions about the real composition of viromes. The main objectives of this Special Issue are to describe the utility of the metagenomics approach to identify new viruses, the virome relationship with human diseases and the description of bioinformatics tools that are suitable to better analyze the viral populations in NGS studies.

Dr. Anna Rosa Garbuglia
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • metagenomics
  • viromics
  • metaviromics
  • virus
  • next-generation sequencing
  • dark matter sequences
  • bioinformatics tools

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop