Incorporating the Microbiome Into DR2 Activities to Inform Health Outcomes

Joseph Petrosino, Ph.D.
Cheryl Walker, Ph.D.

NIEHS Grant: R21ES029493

Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine are examining how increased exposure to toxic chemicals released during flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey affect the microbiome of nearby residents. The research team is examining how the nasal microbiome and environment interact to affect respiratory health. They are also investigating whether exposures to chemicals or pathogens, such as mold, are reflected in the microbiome of exposed individuals, and if microbiome data can be used to predict flood-related health outcomes. To characterize the microbiome, the researchers collected nasal, oral, and gut biological samples from 300 study participants at six and 12 months after the hurricane. This project will contribute to a better understanding of how the microbiome influences post-disaster health outcomes, and how to improve disaster research response activities after flooding events.