World Microbiome Day 2019


World Microbiome Day is on June 27th this year. World Microbiome Day began in 2018 to demonstrate its emergence as a subject with global impact. That impact is being felt across a variety of disciplines including science, medicine, and nutrition.

"World Microbiome Day aims to showcase the vibrant and diverse worlds of microbiomes, and to encourage public dialogue on their critical importance to human, animal and environmental health. We encourage microbiome researchers from around the world, working on different microbial worlds to join us and spread the message of the importance of microbiomes."

World Microbiome Day 6/27 This year's theme is "Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics" highlighting the need to better understand microbes. While antibiotics have proven beneficial in human health, the overuse and non-specific nature of how they work has led to an unforeseen consequence: bacterial resistance to antibiotics, such as we have seen in the treatment of Tuberculosis. The need to build better treatments that can counter pathogenic bacteria, while leaving non-pathogenic bacteria alone or even promoting their growth, is increasing. Discovering treatments that don't lead to resistance would be a huge improvement in the treatment of bacteria caused diseases.

The World Microbiome Day website has sections devoted to Human, Animal, Plant, Soil, Marine, and Food. The human microbiome section has an infographic with some interesting facts such as the human body has more microbes than there are stars in the milky way. There are over 10,000 different microbial species living in and on the human body and there are 5x more viruses than bacteria in the gut.

Increase in Microbiome Publications

Publications have increased dramatically over the past decades indicating how much microbiome research has grown. The first publication that used the word 'microbiome' was in 1956 in a publication by Lackey1. From 1956 through 1999, there were 557 publications using the word 'microbiome'. From 2000 to 2009 there were 2,752, and from 2010 to 2018 there were an astonishing 45,817!

Clinical Trials

In addition to the many publications, over 2,000 microbiome clinical trials have been initiated since the beginning of 2000. While the initial focus was on gastrointestinal diseases, more recent trials have focused on infectious disease, the central nervous system, and oncology.

Whether you are actively working in the microbiome research field or an interested spectator, on June 27th take a few extra minutes to learn something new about the microbiome.

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Reference:
1. Lackey, JB. Public Health Report. 1956. Jul:7(7):708-18.