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The human microbiome: there is much left to do

Even after the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) Consortium’s consistent work for several years and after 10 years of its first big survey on microbial diversity in the human body, it still looks like we are just scratching the tip of the iceberg. There is a clear understanding that the microbiome is essential for the proper functioning of our bodies, key to digesting food and staving off pathogens. The gut microbiome is established as an influencer of metabolism and immunity and a mediator of resistance to some pathogenic infections.

Common illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and obesity are linked to distinct microbiomes as well. Although it has made a significant stride, there are still several unanswered questions.

Since ‘Microbiome’ is one of the emerging fields in the infectious disease diagnosis with approaches like evaluating the vaginal microbiome for diagnosing STIs, and as Microbiome-based diagnostics are in use for detection of, and/or making prognoses on, human disease using microbial signatures of different types; it has a huge potential to become an important tool in developing a cutting-edge infectious disease diagnostic test to promptly identify the causative agents at source to effectively curb the worsening problem of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

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