What is the microbiome?

The term microbiome was coined by the Nobel Laureates, Lederberg, and McCray published in 2001 by The Scientists. The microbiome lives inside our bodies, consisting of trillions of microorganisms (also called microbiota), where 95% of them found in small and large intestines but also throughout the body. Each person has an entirely unique network of microbiota that is originally determined by one’s DNA.

Characteristics of the microbiome in the human body and relationship with diseases

(1) Characteristics of the microbiome

The different types of bacteria live on different parts of the body and perform different functions. The microbiome consists of microbes that are both helpful and potentially harmful. Most are symbiotics (where both the human body and microbiota benefit) and some, in smaller numbers, are pathogenic (promoting disease).

(2) Relationship with disease and opportunities for therapy

Most recently, the relationship with gut microbiome is increasingly being recognized for its influence in health and disease. Several evidences have indicated that the human microbiome can more specifically influence the outcome of cancer immunotherapy, such as impacting on cancer initiation, progression, and response to therapy.

(3) Expanding the scope and scale of microbiome research and development

The link between the gut microbiome and human diseases has been discovered based on scientific database. Using such scientific database, the multinational pharmaceutical companies and Food & Nutrition companies are expanding microbiome R&D areas from nutritional food to cosmetics and immunotherapies. Throughout the various studies, types of species is also diversified from the common species, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium to the newly discovered species Akkermansia, which is now used in various areas.