Researchers have conducted a detailed study of the viruses in human poo. 

US and Australian scientists have identified 54,118 species of virus that live in our guts. They say that 92 per cent of these viruses were not previously known.  

The figure comes from a study that looked at genetic data from 11,810 stool samples.

It found that more than 75 per cent of the viruses identified were a type called ‘phages’, which infect bacteria, not humans. 

The researchers are using their findings to build a database of viruses that are part of the human gut microbiome, which includes all the different lifeforms that call our guts home. 

They also found genetic evidence of the evolutionary ‘arms race’ between phages and their bacterial victims, as bacteria try to outwit their viral enemies.

The study is accessible here.