Microbial diversity, crucial for human health, is globally threatened by urbanization at an unprecedented pace. Microbial biodiversity hotspots are mostly located in places with traditional peoples and will be lost as they integrate in industrial societies, unless there is recognition of the urgency to preserve it, and foster research to understand the functions of the diversity at risk of being lost.
There is a clear association between industrialization/urbanization and the rocketing of immune and metabolic and immune malfunctions leading to diseases such as asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, etc. These microbes at risk of extinction will be needed in the future to reverse the worldwide trends of increasing chronic diseases.
The current symposium aims to bring together scientists from African Academic institutions with researchers from other countries that lead the fields of microbiology, anthropology, conservation, preservation, ethics, public health and bioinformatics. The symposium will educate about the importance of conservation efforts on microbial biodiversity.
GloMiNe for Africa is the second of a series of workshops to help establish a global microbiome network, after the first one with Peru, with over 1,000 participants from 34 countries registered. The GloMine for Africa, hosted by Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and organized by a committee which includes institutions from Africa, Europe and America, will be in English with direct translation to French and Portuguese. This is an initiative under the mission of Microbiota Vault to conserve long-term health for humanity.