Table 1

International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC) main research programmes

Research programmeCountryDatePrincipal investigators' affiliationsSpecificities
NIH Jumpstart ProgramUSA2007–2008Baylor College of Medicine, USA; Broad Institute, USA; The J. Craig Venter Institute, USA; Washington University School of Medicine, USA
  1. Generation of the complete genome sequences of 200 bacterial strains isolated from the human body

  2. Recruitment of donors and securing samples from five body regions

  3. Performing 16S rRNA metagenomic sequence analysis of the sampled body regions

MetaHIT, Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal TractEU2008–2011INRA, France; CEA Genoscope, France; DTU, Denmark; Danone, France; EMBL, Germany; HUVH, Spain; IEO, Italy; NN, Denmark; SDU, Denmark; UCB Pharma, Spain; WU, The Netherlands; WTSI, UK; BGI, People's Republic of China
  1. Establishment of an extensive reference catalogue of microbial genes present in the human intestine

  2. Development of bioinformatics tools to store, organise and interpret this information.

  3. Development of tools to perform quantitative metagenomics

  4. Determination of bacterial genes associated with health and disease

  5. Development of methods to study the function of bacterial genes associated with disease aiming to understand the underlying mechanisms and host–microbe interactions

MicroObes, Human Intestinal Microbiome in Obesity and Nutritional TransitionFrance2008–2010INRA, France; UPMC, France; CEA Genoscope, France
  1. Implementation of concerted nutritional trials in France and China and characterisation of the microbiota of patients using high-throughput metagenomic profiling

  2. Sequencing of the dominant gene repertoire of the intestinal microbiota of obese and non-obese volunteers

  3. Identification of mechanisms of bacteria–cell crosstalk with relevance in energy harvest from food.

DACC, Data Analysis and Coordination CenterUSA2008–2013Institute for Genome Sciences, USABacterial strains sequencing (n=354 as of November 2011) and annotation
CMI, Canadian Human Microbiome InitiativeCanadaStart 2010University of Guelph, Canada; University of British Columbia, Canada; University Health Network, Canada; University of Alberta, Canada; Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Canada; University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; University of Calgary, Canada; University of Ottawa, Canada
  1. Characterisation of communities of microbes found in different body sites in healthy individuals to determine if individuals share a common microbiome

  2. Exploration of the interactions between microbes and determination of how perturbations at one site can affect microbes at another body site

  3. Investigation of the role played by the microbiota in human health and probing of the associations between the human microbiome and a variety of diseases and health conditions

The Australian Jumpstart Human Microbiome ProjectAUStart 2009CSIRO
  1. Specific bacterial strains isolations for DAAC sequencing

  2. Application of functional metagenomics techniques to unravel the interaction between intestinal microbes and their host

  3. Production of practical outcomes for the livestock sector (animal greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of antibiotics use)

HMP, NIH Human Microbiome ProjectUSA2008–2012
  1. Characterisation of the microbial communities found at several different sites on the human body, including nasal passages, oral cavities, skin, gastrointestinal tract, and urogenital tract

  2. Analysis of the role of these microbes in human health and disease

  3. Reference set of microbial genome sequences and preliminary characterisation of the human microbiome

Korean Microbiome Diversity, using Korean Twin Cohort ProjectKorea2010–2015Seoul National University, South Korea
  1. Determination of the microbiomes present in various epithelial sites of the human body by using Korean Twin Cohort

  2. Investigation of the relationship between human microbiomes and the relevant diseases on their respective sites

  3. Development of a database to cover the diversity of Korean microbiomes and their related data

  4. Determination of the disease targets for early diagnosis and prevention, and establishment of a dedicated centre for Korean microbiome information and analysis