Microbiomes and Health


About this course

This course is aimed at teaching students the fundamentals of microbiome function, emphasising the major contributions of the collective of commensal bacteria (the microbiota) to host physiology and health. The course will provide an overview of the main terminology and concepts, will outline how gut microbes break down the food, harvest energy from breakdown products and make nutrients available to host, how microbiota "train" the host immune system from newborn to adult and influence host behaviour via the gut-brain axis. It will explain the concepts of (co-)infections, disease complexes and emerging diseases. The course will also describe the microbial origins of antibiotics and outline how microbiota-encoded antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has contributed to the current problems in resistance and global call for a One-Health approach to tackle AMR. Lastly, the course will handle current methodologies to study microbiomes including metagenomics and other -omics technologies, modelling, culturing, and application of sequencing in infectious disease and AMR diagnostics.

Learning outcomes

After the successful completion of this course, student are expected to be able to:

  • describe the diverse ways by which microbiota contribute to host metabolism and health
  • explain the main concepts and terminology used to describe microbiome functionality;
  • apply and compare laboratory techniques to identify and characterise host-associated microbes and antibiotic resistance (written report and practical skills);
  • examine approaches used to study microbiomes;
    -design and defend a solution to current microbiome research challenges (oral presentation).

Required prior knowledge

Mandatory Knowledge:
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Assumed Knowledge:
CBI10306/CBI10806 (Introduction to) Cell Biology

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 March 2025

    • Ends
      2 May 2025
    • Term *
      Period 5
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 9 Feb 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University