Advances in Microbiome Research for Animal Health: Annual Review of Animal Biosciences

Raquel S. Peixoto, Derek M. Harkins, Karen E. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Host-associated microbiomes contribute in many ways to the homeostasis of the metaorganism. The microbiome's contributions range from helping to provide nutrition and aiding growth, development, and behavior to protecting against pathogens and toxic compounds. Here we summarize the current knowledge of the diversity and importance of the microbiome to animals, using representative examples of wild and domesticated species. We demonstrate how the beneficial ecological roles of animal-associated microbiomes can be generally grouped into well-defined main categories and how microbe-based alternative treatments can be applied to mitigate problems for both economic and conservation purposes and to provide crucial knowledge about host-microbiota symbiotic interactions. We suggest a Customized Combination of Microbial-Based Therapies to promote animal health and contribute to the practice of sustainable husbandry. We also discuss the ecological connections and threats associated with animal biodiversity loss, microorganism extinction, and emerging diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. © 2021 Annual Reviews Inc.. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-311
Number of pages23
JournalAnnu. Rev. Anim. Biosci.
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 16 2021


  • animal
  • companion
  • domestic
  • food production
  • host microbiome interactions
  • impacts
  • metagenome
  • microbiome
  • omics
  • wild
  • animal behavior
  • Anthozoa
  • biodiversity
  • domestic animal
  • human
  • microflora
  • sea food
  • veterinary medicine
  • virology
  • wild animal
  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Animals, Wild
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Biodiversity
  • COVID-19
  • Human-Animal Interaction
  • Humans
  • Microbiota
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Seafood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • General Veterinary


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