Microbial cells outnumber the human cells in the ratio of 10:1 in a healthy human body. The human microbiome is the study of microbes present in the human body. These are beneficial microbes that carry out functions not performed by any gene in the human DNA and hence, they play a very important role in the human body. For example, these microbes produce certain vitamins that our body cannot make, breakdown our food, equip our immune system to recognize harmful foreign bodies, and produce anti-inflammatory compounds against it.
The seemingly unending beneficial properties of the microbial population were unearthed in 2008, as part of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The HMP project aims to characterize the human microbiome and analyze its role in human health and disease conditions.
The HMP has identified microbiome communities at several human body sites, including the gastrointestinal tract, skin, oral cavity, nasal passages, and urogenital tract. Currently, the HMP projects are focused on three areas – pregnancy and preterm birth, onset inflammatory bowel disease, and the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Global Human Microbiome Market Taxonomy
Research in this field has led to the emergence of various microbiome-based products. The global human microbiome market is analyzed on the basis of product type into probiotics, prebiotics, foods, medical foods, diagnostic devices, and other drugs and supplements. Prebiotics are increasing demand worldwide, with growing awareness about the various beneficial properties of the product such as improved digestion, better gut health, help with weight loss, and reduced risk of heart disease.
On the basis of application, the global human microbiome market is segmented into therapeutic and diagnostic. Therapeutic use of the human microbiome is increasing with research yielding new applications and usage of the human microbiome. The market is thus expected to be inclining towards therapeutic applications in the near future. Moreover, microbiome products are considered to be relatively safe, which creates a highly conducive environment for the growth of the human microbiome market.
The human microbiome can also be analyzed based on the technology used for conducting research in this field. These technologies include cell culture technology, high-throughput technology, omics technology, and computational tools. Products used for research include instruments (analyzers and other laboratory instruments) and consumables (kits and reagents).
Market participants can also understand the human microbiome market dynamics through analysis for different health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, acute diarrhea, mental disorders, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and other diseases.
Human microbiome market: Regional overview
The human microbiome market is in the growth stage and is rapidly emerging, with a promising future. The market is highly developed in North America and Europe, where products and technology are high among the consumers, researchers and healthcare practitioners. The introduction of new products and microbiome modulators in these regions would propel market growth. There is a high interest in incorporating microbiome modulators in food and dietary supplements of the human diet in order to supply the body with the missing dietary supplements. The human microbiome technology and products would gain significant traction in the emerging economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East regions. Growing product awareness, rising demand for safe medical products and increasing research activities would be the driving factors for the human microbiome market in these regions.
Some of the key players in the global human microbiome market include Merck & Co. Inc., Affymetrix Inc., Vithera Pharmaceuticals, Microbiome Therapeutics, LLC, Vedanta Biosciences, Inc., Metabiomics Corporation, Enterome Bioscience, Osel, Inc., Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Second Genome, Inc., and E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company