Scientists argue for the inclusion of the soil microbiome as a part of the holistic approach of One Health

The One Health approach places the health of all living organisms in a close context with the aim of bringing them into a sustainable balance. However, the smallest living organisms in the soil, the so-called soil microbiome, have been largely ignored in this approach so far. Researchers now want to change that by advocating the future inclusion of the soil microbiome as an important component of the One Health approach. 

Scientists from Australia, Italy and Germany aim to integrate the focus on the soil microbiome into the existing One Health approach. According to them healthy soils represent the foundation of planetary health. So far, the soil and its microbiome have hardly been taken into account in this context. Yet soil is one of the most important and diverse habitats on earth: up to eight billion living organisms can be found in just a handful of soil.

On the one hand, microbes can be beneficial for the health and balance of an ecosystem, while other representatives, even if they only make up a very small part, can be dangerous to us and our environment. Since the Corona pandemic, it has become clear how closely linked human and animal health are. In order to prevent future transmission of pathogens between humans and animals, extensive, transdisciplinary knowledge is needed. The scientists consider the small organisms in the soil to be of great importance for this. Moreover, they represent the main source of the natural microbiome of all living organisms. If people disturb the soil microbiome, e.g. through contaminated wastewater, soil erosion in agriculture, but also due to climate change and reduced biodiversity, this has been shown to promote diseases and significantly reduce the quality of people’s environment.


Source: idw Nachrichten Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (2023), One Health: Forschende plädieren für die Einbeziehung des Bodenmikrobioms als Bestandteil eines ganzheitlichen Ansatzes,, Accessed on 30.06.2023