The Human Microbiome
An untapped treasure trove for novel therapies and diagnostics.
The Human Microbiome is the community of microbes, numbering in the trillions, that make the human body their home. Like the spectacular rainforests and coral reefs found around our planet, the human gut is an ecosystem that is rich in microbial diversity. The equilibrium of this microbial ecosystem naturally develops, starting at birth, and builds a complex self-organizing network of interactions that are essential to our health throughout life. Importantly, the gut microbiome in particular plays the role of mediator between external influences, such as diet, and our immune system, making it a key component to proper immune functioning.
We are only beginning to truly appreciate the power of this microbial organ on our health and wellness.
Numerous aspects of modern life, including widespread use of microbiome altering medications, have wreaked havoc on the proper development, equilibrium, and diversity of the human gut microbiome. Little was known about the beneficial influence of the human microbiome on health or the detrimental effects of disruptions to microbiome development.
We now know that the future of precision medicine must include appreciation for how the human microbiome impacts disease development.
Fortunately, appreciation for the importance of developing and maintaining a healthy microbiome is rapidly growing. Ultimately, the knowledge gained from collection and analysis of clinical microbiome data will help inform patient stratification, explain individualized responses to current therapies, and direct the development of live biotherapeutic products for novel prevention and treatment approaches to chronic disease. We must take care of the human body by taking care of the human microbiome.