Integrative Analyses of Environmental Factors Impacting Animal and Human Health Through Perturbations of Microbial Communities
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The term ‘microbiome’ defines the vast microscopic communities collectively composed of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and eukaryotic protozoans that inhabit myriad niches, including environmental locales, as well as the surfaces and organ systems of animals and humans. Recent empirical evidence clearly demonstrates the substantial role that microbiomes play in facilitating the homeostasis of complex biological systems, and as such, perturbation of these microbial communities can lead to dysregulation of environmental ecosystems, significant declines in animal and human health, and the emergence of detrimental conditions, such as infectious diseases, inflammatory disorders, and neurodegenerative aliments. A variety of factors are involved in shifting the composition and complexity (i.e., the functionality) of microbiomes, including the contamination of soil, water, and food sources with toxicants, pharmaceuticals, and antimicrobial compounds...