crAssphage is a newly discovered gut bacteriophage. However, its pathogenicity and molecular epidemiology in humans are as yet unclear. In this study, we investigated the association between crAssphage and diarrhoea, as well as the molecular epidemiology of crAssphage in Chinese patients from our hospital. Our results indicated that there were no significant differences in the crAssphage-positive ratio and viral loads in faecal supernatants between adults with diarrhoea and healthy adults. Of infants and children with diarrhoea, 2·8% were found to be crAssphage-positive, including two infants aged <1 month. Markedly, of all confirmed crAssphage-positive strains, 100% had the ORF00039 deletion and 77·8% had low identity of ORF00018 compared to crAssphage (GenBank accession no. NC_024711, designated genotype 1). Thus, crAssphage was not associated with diarrhoea and most strains of crAssphage in Chinese patients (designated genotype 2) were characterized by the ORF00039 deletion and low identity of ORF00018.
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