We, at the Global Microbiome Conservancy, are aiming to preserve the full biodiversity of the human microbiome before it is lost to industrialized diets and lifestyles worldwide. Since microbiome imbalances are associated with diseases like asthma, allergy, and inflammatory bowel disease, this biodiversity has unprecedented potential to impact the future of human health.
We are developing a collection of human gut bacteria to serve as a non-commercial research platform for the global scientific community to ethically and equitably advance microbiome science.
The first 15,000 human bacterial strains biobanked and their associated genomes have already enabled us to discover unknown microbial biodiversity and conduct new research projects. For example, we are currently investigating how antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are transferred between bacteria within the human gut, how they are distributed among human microbiomes worldwide and how they impact the antibiotic resistance capacity of commensal gut bacteria.