Should we care about fungi? The mycobiome: an emerging field of the human microbiome research

penici2With the advancement of next-generation sequencing in the last decade, our knowledge about the trillions of microbes that the human body harbours has exponentially increased. Microbiome research has mostly been focused on the study of bacteria notwithstanding that the classical definition of the microbiome includes viruses and fungi. Despite the numerous microbiome publications, we know only little about the impact of fungi on health and disease. That said, with the increased evidence demonstrating the importance of host bacterial communities on host physiology and their involvement in health, research groups are interested in looking at the impact of fungi as well.

I have selected this publication because it demonstrates the potential effect of fungal colonization on the bacterial composition in vivo. In this study, Downward and colleagues demonstrated that the introduction of C.albicans in a disturbed microbiota was sufficient to alter the reassembly of the bacterial population.

During our journal club Friday, May 29th at 3:30pm, Westend Pub I hope to discuss:
(a) The underappreciated impact of fungi in microbiome research
(b) The feasibility and significance of including a mycobiome component in our research
(c) The limitation of the ITS sequencing

Relevant reviews for people interested to read more on the topic include:

The mycobiota: interactions between commensal fungi and the host immune system:

http://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v14/n6/full/nri3684.html

The human mycobiome in health and disease:

http://genomemedicine.com/content/5/7/63

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