Courses / Modules / BIOL6103 Microbiomes and Health

Microbiomes and Health

When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 7
Module lead
Maria Cardoso Pereira
Academic year

Module overview

Humans are holobionts: we harbour and live in close association with unique microbial populations of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi. These microbial communities that inhabit our mouth, skin or gut are vital for maintaining a robust immune system, a healthy gut, a resilient skin barrier and even a healthy brain. Indeed, the intestinal microbiome signals to the brain and can influence a vast range of neuronal functions and well as neurological disorders. But the term “holobiont” is not limited to humans and other animals. Microbes also establish key associations with plants and a healthy plant microbiome is crucial for the development and growth of healthy crops. Furthermore, human health is interlinked with plant and ecosystem health and dependent on the presence of unique, diverse, and healthy microbiomes across different scales.

This module will provide students with a deep understanding of host-associated microbial communities and their contribution to health, but also the implications in various diseases. Novel techniques and methods for microbiome analysis will be presented and explored. Lastly, we will discuss how the microbiome links human to plant and planetary health and the potential of microbiome-based solutions to improve health and solve major environmental challenges.

Linked modules

BIOL2013 AND BIOL2038 OR BIOL2044.