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 was developed by APC Microbiome Ireland, with the inaugural day in 2018. In 2019 it will again take place on Thursday 27th June.

The theme of World Microbiome Day 2019 is “Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics”. The aim is to increase awareness and understanding of antibiotic resistance, and the effect on microbiomes and subsequent human, animal and habitat microbiomes.

The vast majority of microbes do not cause any harm, and many are essential for plant, animal and human life. Taking care of “good” microbes is as important as destroying the “bad” microbes.

Antibiotics are amongst our most precious medicines, saving millions of lives.  Antibiotics are used to control harmful bacterial infections in humans, animals and plants.  However, indiscriminate use of antibiotics can lead to unintended consequences and long-term changes to our microbiomes.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a global challenge and is driven by their overuse, in people, animals and in animals.  The ability of bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics threatens to send us back to a time when we were unable to easily treat infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and salmonellosis. The inability to prevent infections could seriously compromise surgery and procedures such as chemotherapy.

One example of where resistance to antibiotics is a huge problem is tuberculosis (TB).  TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.  While TB is curable, it an example where antibiotic resistance is a significant obstacle to fighting a disease that causes around 10 million people to become ill, leading to 1.6 million deaths, every year. In 2017, around 600,000 cases of TB were resistant to rifampicin – the most effective first-line antibiotic – and 82% of these patients had multidrug-resistant TB, where the infecting bacterium was resistant to many antibiotics.

We encourage microbiome researchers from around the world, working on different microbiomes to join us and spread the message of the importance of microbiomes.