Proximity-based Transmission in Relation to the Development of the Microbiome

Colton Adkison


The human body hosts many mutualistic microorganisms living inside and out known as the microbiome. The microbiota of specific locations in the body can vary, both from person to person, and even within the same individual. Research has shown a clear link between certain aspects of health and the concentration and diversity of an individual’s microbiome [1]. The vast and varying catalog of microorganisms within the human body has been studied for centuries, however, only recently has research begun to peer into the origination of a person’s microbiome as well as their similarities and differences to that of others. While there currently exists, extensive knowledge surrounding the general taxa contained within the human body, there has been much less research corresponding to the procurement and development of these taxa. Further exploring the provenance of these microorganisms can help facilitate more information regarding the transference of microbes on a person-to-person basis with those around them as well as their significance in the immune system and the transmission of diseases. Recent studies have provided notable insight into the communicability of microorganisms between individuals in contact with each other, namely those in the same household, and how the similarities as well as the discrepancies in microbiota are affected by changes in environment [1]. Despite these important findings, many holes still exist in the research surrounding the genetic and phenotypic relationship relative to the transability of these microbes as well as difficulties in identifying and isolating all microorganisms fixed at specific sites in the body.  

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