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Theme 2: Project 3 - Environmental and Human Microbiome

Exposure to environmental microbiomes occurs though bioaerosols. This project focusses particularly on the application of molecular methods to the analysis of fungal species in molecular epidemiology.  It links both with Theme I and also to the bioaerosol work in the Environmental Change and Health HPRU. This work will be carried out with members of theme 1 with the purpose of better associating specific fungal exposure with health outcomes. This is difficult because fungal spores vary in size, have segmental duplications over the genome region of interest for speciation and diversity of cell number. There is a lack of understanding of the effects of fungal species on health. Fungal species also form part of the human microbiome and the significance of environmental effects on both the environmental and human microbiome and link to health will form part of the work of this project.

We have further developed an assay for analysing the fungal composition of different samples, successfully identifying fungi present within different environmental and human samples. During Year 5 will be looking to further explore potential collaborations with the Respiratory Infections HPRU and an international consortium on urban green space to perform some small scale studies to both develop our experience and establish a recognised expertise in this emerging field.

Aim: to better characterise the Environmental and human microbiomes and relationship to health.

Lead researchers

Dr Emma Marczylo

Investigator

Public Health England