CoreBiome Team Members Publish the Immigrant Microbiome Project

The recent Cell publication uses a mix of 16S amplicon sequencing, shotgun sequencing and dietary analysis to detail the loss of microbial diversity experienced by those immigrating to the US from Thailand. Highlights of the paper include the findings that US immigrants lose fiber-degrading enzymes from their microbiome’s functional repertoire, and that US-associated Bacteroides strains begin to displace native Prevotella strains within the gut microbiome almost immediatly after immigrants arrive in the US. To spearhead the project, Vangay, et al. initiated a community-based research approach involving partnerships between academics, medical professionals and community researchers. This allowed sampling of individuals within refugee camps prior to immigration as well and longitudinal and cross-sectional sampling of individuals upon arrival to the US. The findings of this study have generated quite the buzz, including features in The AtlanticThe Washington PostThe New York Times and NPR News, and have also highlighted how connecting to the communities we study can help accelerate science. The full publication can be found here:

Vangay P, Johnson AJ, Ward TL, Al-Ghalith GA, Shields-Cutler RR, Hillmann BM, Lucas SK, Beura LK, Thompson EA, Till LM, Batres R, Paw B, Pergament SL, Saenyakul P, Xiong M, Kim AD, Kim G, Masopust D, Martens EC, Angkurawaranon C, McGready R, Kashyap PC, Culhane-Pera KA, Knights D. US Immigration Westernizes the Human Gut Microbiome. Cell. 2018;1(4):962-972.e10. doi:0.1016/j.cell.2018.10.029