Assessing the relationship between neighborhood vegetation and the human postmortem microbiome at multiple anatomical sites: potential implications for health

Authors: Amanda Rzotkiewicz*, Michigan State University, Amber L. Pearson, Michigan State University, Jen Pechal, Michigan State University, Ashton Shortridge, Michigan State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: human microbiome, urban, NDVI, neighborhoods
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The interplay of the microbiomes of humans and the environment, and the potential for this relationship to affect human health, is especially important in urban areas where the diversity of the natural environment is reduced. While the profile and diversity of the human microbiome has been linked to the surrounding built environment, the relationship between vegetation and the human microbiome in highly populated areas has yet to be assessed. To address this gap in knowledge, this study compares vegetation scores (NDVI; 1-meter resolution) for multiple neighborhood buffers and the microbial composition and diversity of the mouth, ears, eyes, nose and gut microbiomes of residents of Wayne County, Michigan (n = 149). This research provides a first look at how the surrounding environment has the potential to affect the microbial communities of urban residents at multiple anatomical sites. Understanding the unique function and susceptibility of the various human microbiomes is important if environmental modification is to be implemented as a possible avenue for managing population health at a subclinical level.

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