World Microbiome Day Date in the current year: June 27, 2024

World Microbiome Day World Microbiome Day is celebrated annually on June 27. It was created to educate the general public on the essential role of microorganisms in numerous natural processes and highlight achievements in microbiome research.

A lot of people primarily associate the terms “microorganisms” and “microbes” with bacteria, but in reality they refer to all organisms of microscopic size, i.e. those that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Microbes include all archaea and bacteria, most protists (including microscopic algae), some fungi, and some microscopic plants and animals (tardigrades, some nematodes, etc.). Viruses, however, are not considered microbes because they are not regarded as living organisms.

A microbiome is the community of microorganisms living together in a specific environment. The term encompasses both the range of co-existing microorganisms (microbiota) and their “theater of activity” (structural elements, metabolites, and the surrounding environmental conditions). Depending on their habitat, microbiomes can be divided into two main types: marine microbiomes and terrestrial microbiomes. Terrestrial microbiomes, in turn, are divided into three subtypes: plant, animal, and human.

Microbiomes are pretty much everywhere, even in and on our bodies. For example, microorganisms living on our skin (skin flora) help protect it from pathogenic bacteria, and microorganisms in our gastrointestinal tract help us digest food. Microbiomes in the soil fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, helping plants grow, and microbiomes in the ocean absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen just like plants on land. Microbes also play an essential role in the production of many foods including bread, fermented milk products, vinegar, alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, cocoa, as well as fermented fish, meat, and vegetables.

To put it short, the role of microbiomes is hard to overestimate. They are actively contributing to keeping people and animals healthy, reducing pollution, mitigating climate change, and sustaining food systems. However, there are a lot of people who associate microbes with pathogens and don’t realize that the overwhelming majority of microbes are essential for ecosystems and human health. World Microbiome Day was created to combat the stereotypes surrounding microbes and educate people on their importance.

World Microbiome Day was launched in 2018 by APC Microbiome Ireland, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research center focused on exploring the role of microbiomes in health and disease. The main goals of the observance are to raise awareness of the diverse world of microbes and its importance for humans, animals, plants, and entire ecosystems.

You can join the celebration of World Microbiome Day by learning more about the biological and environmental role of microbiomes, participating in an event near you or joining an online event, organizing an event of your own, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #WorldMicrobiomeDay.

Every year, World Microbiome Day has a new theme that focuses on a specific aspect of microbiome research. For example, the 2023 theme was “Microbes and Food”, and most events were dedicated to the role of microbiomes in food production and digestive health.

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World Microbiome Day, international observances, APC Microbiome Ireland, microbes, microbiomes