First ever World Microbiome Day to launch on 27th June 2018

Do you know of individuals or organisations whose activities help to ‘Mind our Microbes’? As part of the inaugural World Microbiome Day, on June 27th 2018, the SFI Research Centre APC Microbiome Ireland, is calling on members of the public to nominate people, or groups, for a ‘Microbiome Hero’ award.

APC Microbiome Ireland has initiated the first ever World Microbiome Day to encourage public dialogue on the critical importance of microbes for human, animal and environmental health. World Microbiome Day will showcase the vibrant and diverse worlds of microbiomes – the collections of microbes that live in particular ecological niches e.g. human gut, forest floor, soil or a lake. The theme chosen for this year’s World Microbiome Day is ‘Mind our Microbes’.

It is imperative for our planet and society that we protect our microbes, particularly the microbes in us and those in the environment that contribute to the health of our planet. So, APC Microbiome would like to acknowledge and celebrate individuals, organisations (such as community groups) or businesses whose activities improve our microbiomes and mind our microbes. Nominations are welcome for people/groups who have carried out microbiome-friendly activities e.g. a school planting a garden, a farmer who has introduced microbiome friendly agricultural practices, a community group organising a clean-up of their local park or beach, someone who makes fermented foods, or cooks healthy meals.

Microbes have existed on planet earth for billions of years. They are everywhere, including in and on humans, where they provide us with nutrients and safeguard our health. In fact, a world without microbes is unimaginable. Often the public perception of microbes is negative as some microbes cause infections, but the vast majority of microbes do not cause any harm and many are essential for plant, animal and human life. We have become very focused on eliminating bacteria, attacking with antibacterial gels and wipes, but taking care of ‘good’ microbes may be more important than destroying ‘bad’ microbes, and as in many other aspects of life, diversity is key. 

Announcing the call, Dr Sally Cudmore, General Manager, APC Microbiome Ireland, said “Microbes are essential to the health of planet Earth, as well as the plants, animals and humans. By nominating your Microbiome Hero, you can help raise awareness and encourage public dialogue on the critical importance of these microbes. In doing so, you will be acknowledging an individual or organisation whose actions benefit and impact on all our lives.

Nominate your Microbiome Hero by emailing the name of the individual or group, your reasons for nominating (and if possible include a photo - with permission) to info@worldmicrobiomeday.com, or on Twitter, using the hashtag #worldmicrobiomeday before the deadline of 25 June 2018. APC Microbiome will highlight the great work of Microbiome Heros on the World Microbiome Day website, and they will be awarded a Microbiome Hero certificate.

Follow #WorldMicrobiomeDay on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

For further information, contact Dr Catherine Buckley, Communications & Outreach Manager, APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork; tel +353 21 4903362; email: c.buckley@ucc.ie.