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The human microbiome, global health and the Sustainable Development Goals: opportunities and challenges

The human microbiome has a crucial role in global health, with implications for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Understanding and harnessing the potential of the microbiome, while recognizing its link to the global ecosystem, can drive innovative strategies for improved public health, and promote sustainable development.

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Work in P.W.O.T.’s laboratory is supported in part by awards from Science Foundation Ireland to APC Microbiome Ireland; the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine (Government of Ireland) FIRM programme; the European Union’s Horizons programme (MASTER-818368); and its Research and innovation programme (IHMCSA; 964590). P.W.O.T. is a research proposal reviewer/advisor for The Weston Family Foundation, and the US Highbush Blueberry Council. Work by M.P. at UNESCO-TWAS is supported by the Italian Government, the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Elsevier Foundation. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of UNESCO.

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Correspondence to Paul W. O’Toole.

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Horizon Europe project MASTER:

Human Microbiome Action:

Human Microbiome Project:

International Human Microbiome Consortium:

Microbiome Support Consortium:

One Health fact sheet:


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O’Toole, P.W., Paoli, M. The human microbiome, global health and the Sustainable Development Goals: opportunities and challenges. Nat Rev Microbiol 21, 624–625 (2023).

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