The concept of the microbiome is fairly recent, even though it has its roots in the beginning of the last century, when the first microbial ecologist, Sergei Winogradsky from Ukraine, argued for the need to study microbes in the context of their natural environment, including the living host. He pointed out the difference of the microorganisms’ behaviour in continuous culture versus their natural habitat, and it was one of the most important discoveries in the field.
Despite this unprecedented breakthrough, microbiology took almost a century to recognise this idea officially. Finally, another microbiologist and Nobel Laureate, Joshua Lederberg, offered the term ‘microbiome’ in 2001, describing a collection of microorganisms and the collective genome of species living in a specific environment.
The Human Microbiome Project (HMP), aiming to improve the understanding of microbial flora involved in human health and disease, was launched in 2007. Th