Twenty Important Research Questions in Microbial Exposure and Social Equity

Jake M. Robinson, Nicole Redvers, Araceli Camargo, Christina A. Bosch, Martin F. Breed, Lisa A. Brenner, Megan A. Carney, Ashvini Chauhan, Mauna Dasari, Leslie G. Dietz, Michael Friedman, Laura Grieneisen, Andrew J. Hoisington, Patrick F. Horve, Ally Hunter, Sierra Jech, Anna Jorgensen, Christopher A. Lowry, Ioana Man, Gwynne MhuireachEdauri Navarro-Pérez, Euan G. Ritchie, Justin D. Stewart, Harry Watkins, Philip Weinstein, Suzanne L. Ishaq

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Social and political policy, human activities, and environmental change affect the ways in which microbial communities assemble and interact with people. These factors determine how different social groups are exposed to beneficial and/ or harmful microorganisms, meaning microbial exposure has an important socioecological justice context. Therefore, greater consideration of microbial exposure and social equity in research, planning, and policy is imperative. Here, we identify 20 research questions considered fundamentally important to promoting equitable exposure to beneficial microorganisms, along with safeguarding resilient societies and ecosystems. The 20 research questions we identified span seven broad themes, including the following: (i) sociocultural interactions; (ii) Indigenous community health and well-being; (iii) humans, urban ecosystems, and environmental processes; (iv) human psychology and mental health; (v) microbiomes and infectious diseases; (vi) human health and food security; and (vii) microbiome-related planning, policy, and outreach. Our goal was to summarize this growing field and to stimulate impactful research avenues while providing focus for funders and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01240-21
JournalmSystems
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biopolitics
  • Health disparities
  • Integrated research
  • Microbiomes
  • Social determinants of health
  • Structural determinants
  • Structural determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications

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