Scientists have discovered the first ever organism that eats viruses. It was revealed after scientists conducted experiments over the declining population of double-stranded DNA virus known as chlorovirus. The unique organism is the first known “Virovore” or an organism that feeds on viruses.
Halteria, The Virus Eating Bacteria
The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), by the researcher John DeLong from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. DeLong along with his colleagues collected water samples from a pond to investigate the population of both the virus and the virus-eating organism. A particular type of ciliate bacterium called Halteria appeared to be eating the viruses.
Unknown Food Web
Halteria is considered the very first virovore discovered recently. There were indications of the existence of such creatures, but the researchers have not yet investigated its potential role in the food web.