PGP:Microbiome

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Purpose

One of the most important components to the antigenic exposure is the normal bacterial and other commissural flora in and on our bodies. Most are benign and some are actually required for normal physiology. A very tiny fraction of bugs around us are pathogenic, but when they are, their effects can be devastating both on individual and epidemic levels.


Bacterial flora can thus change the immune response complexity, the nutritional complementation and the disease-pathogenicity over time in humans. In modern medicine, the displacement of normal bacterial flora by antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacterial strains is a huge problem. This PGP microbiome effort is to characterize the normal bacterial flora (both cultivable and uncultivable) from a large number of individuals in order to examine the evolving spectra of immune complexity (VDJ-ome), traits/diseases and antibiotic resistance. Using high-throughput sequencing, we will be able to examine all of bacterial species and their phylogenetic relationships in parallel, uncovering the important segment of natural bacterial flora thus far not well studied in human medicine.

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