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Estonian Electronic Microbial dataBase

Eesti Elektrooniline Mikroobide andmeBaas

Human Microbiota Biobank

Human Microbiota Biobank

Acronym: HUMB

Registration number: 977


About biopank

Human Microbiota Biobank is situated at Department of Microbiology, University of Tartu, Estonia. The biobank was registered in 2010 at World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM) as WFCC Estonian Human Microbiota Biobank (collection No. 977, acronym HUMB).

Biobank was established in 1994 when the first microbiota samples and lactobacilli strains were collected in frame of the Estonian-Swedish allergy study. From that time the same study subjects have been repeatedly observed and sampled, and this study is planned to continue. This unique cohort enables us to reveal the changes in microbiota in connection with the changes in age, health and life environment.

During the next years the biobank was supplemented with numerous strains and microbiota samples in frame of several (including international) research projects. Indigenous bacteria of human microbiota ? lactobacilli and bifidobacteria form the most valuable part of the biobank but the collection contains also several opportunistic pathogens. Hundreds of new strains and samples from gastrointestinal, urogenital, respiratory tract, mouth and skin from healthy and diseased newborns, children, adults and elderly people are added to biobank each year.

Several patented probiotic lactobacilli as well as reference strains obtained from other collections are also conserved in the biobank.


Research and development

Continuous research work is a significant part of the biobank ? DNA extraction and identification, detection of genes and properties of the strains, analysis of microbiota composition, updating of the database, viability control and renewing of the strains etc.

Probiotic development is an important research field. In collaboration with the Bio-Competence Centre of Healthy Dairy Products several gastrointestinal probiotics have been developed ? Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 (strain and patent belongs to University of Tartu; the strain is in the market as the dairy product brand Hellus), L. plantarum TENSIA® (DSM 21380) and L. plantarum INDUCIA® (DSM 21379) (the two latter strains and their patents belong to Bio-Competence Centre of Healthy Dairy Products). In collaboration with Competence Centre of Reproductive Biology and Medicine search for vaginal probiotics is going on. In collaboration with Stomatology Clinic a set of oral bacteria has been collected that has a potential for development oral probiotics against caries and periodontitis.

We participate in the European Network for Gastrointestinal Health Research (ENGIHR) that aims to bring together a wide spectrum of scientist and professionals sharing their knowledge and expertise to address the current challenges and issues related to the production and validation of gut health promoting foods.

Using the biobank, several treatment guidelines have been developed, Ph.D. and master’s theses commenced, and numerous research papers published. By virtue of the biobank, the Department of Microbiology had opportunity to participate in EU 5th, 6th and 7th FP projects (Microfunction, Biodefence, Lactobody).


© 2013-2016 by University of Tartu, Estonia.
Version: 11. October, 2016.