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Parasite Microbiome Project: Systematic Investigation of Microbiome Dynamics within and across Parasite-Host Interactions

Abstract

Understanding how microbiomes affect host resistance, parasite virulence, and parasite-associated diseases requires a collaborative effort between parasitologists, microbial ecologists, virologists, and immunologists. We hereby propose the Parasite Microbiome Project to bring together researchers with complementary expertise and to study the role of microbes in host-parasite interactions. Data from the Parasite Microbiome Project will help identify the mechanisms driving microbiome variation in parasites and infected hosts and how that variation is associated with the ecology and evolution of parasites and their disease outcomes. This is a call to arms to prevent fragmented research endeavors, encourage best practices in experimental approaches, and allow reliable comparative analyses across model systems. It is also an invitation to foundations and national funding agencies to propel the field of parasitology into the microbiome/metagenomic era.

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