First of its kind Indian Human Microbiome Project to be released

First of its kind Indian Human Microbiome Project to be released

PUNE: Metagenomics revolutionised the understanding of the relations among the human microbiome, health and diseases. Knowing human microbiome helps in studying and treating the diseases. 

Precisely, picking up this thread, microbiologists, biologists, anthropologists and researchers will release the first of its kind Indian Human Microbiome Project.

“The five-year-long and Rs 150 crore project’s final version has been submitted to the Government of India and is initiated by National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) and National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR). We will be studying 20,000 individuals of the different ethnic groups, found in different geographical areas in the country and will correlate the data with microbiome,” said Project Head Yogesh Souche. 

Microbiome refers to the genetic material of the catalogue of microbial taxa associated with humans. The introduction of the ecological perception of microbiology is the key to achieve real knowledge about the influence of the microbiota in human health and disease.

Souche said, “Among 103 endogenous groups which we have identified, 13 ethnic tribes which have specific features like having a pristine location or dietary habits. We will take samples of oral, skin and gut bacterias and will genotype it. We will test their blood samples on six to nine parameters which will help us in knowing the blood pressure, sugar level, haemoglobin etc and will correlate it with microbiome.”

“We also have 2,000 Ayurvedic physicians included in the project to study phenotype (prakruti) and microbiome,” he added. The data collected will be used for study different parameters of genotype and phenotype and its co-relation with microbiome.

“We will collect the samples from the individuals only once,” he said. Underlining the importance of the project, he said, “Microbiome therapy is future as it is less invasive, environmentally friendly, cost friendly etc. What is normal for us may not be decided by a drug invention happened in another part of the world. We need our own cure treatment for our own diseases,” he added.

“The latest Lancet journal has shown how prevalence of obesity is increasing. The project will help in knowing the difference between the microbiome present in an urban and rural population, which will further shed light on the lifestyle diseases. An independent treatment regime can be devised according to our prakruti,” he further said.

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