Microbiota Vault

The Microbiota Vault is a global non-profit initiative with the aim to “forever secure the basis of the naturally evolved diversity of the human microbiota to support health globally and to reverse the worldwide trends of increasing chronic diseases.” The main goal of the Vault is to set-up a save storage of well characterized biospecimens of human-associated microbiota to preserve them from extinction and make them available, in collaboration with the local working collections in the participating countries/ groups for later resuscitation, isolation and research/ medical applications.

A pilot study will be conducted in Switzerland to make a proof-of-principle of the needed infrastructure and co-working with local working collections, the logistical and legal aspects, the technical aspects related with quality control and the set-up of SOPs for collection, preservation, quality control (both, in terms of viability and bioinformatically for diversity) and description/ resuscitation of the strains as well as the set-up of the needed biobanking infrastructure and database. 

We are part of the Swiss core science team to set-up this study, including also the group of Adrian Egli from the University Hospital Basel, the group of Nicholas Bokulich at the ETH Zurich and the group of Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello at Rutgers University. 

Within the project, we will set-up SOP’s for the collection, shipping and quality control of the samples as well as the re-isolation of strains and also work closely with our colleagues at the University Hospital and the ETH in Zürich for bioinformatic and biostatistic analysis of the samples and our collaborators in Laos and Ethiopia for setting-up local working collections.

The Microbiota Vault is also fostering global cohesion within the microbiome field through organizing Microbiome Network Symposia. See below for a link to the first symposium in Latin America, which took place in spring 2021.

Links to the talks of the GloMiNE symposia: 

Links to collaborators

Prof. Nicholas Bokulich, ETHZ, Switzerland:


Prof. Adrian Egli, University of Basel, Switzerland:


Prof. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rutgers University, USA:


Link to the Microbiota Vault Homepage