Call for Experts – A Survey on Microbiome-Based Biomarker Development

The EU-funded coordination and support project “Human Microbiome Action” is seeking experts in microbiome-based biomarker development to partake in a Delphi survey.

A Delphi Survey is a recognised research practice whereby experts reach a consensus on ideas of a given topic, with questionnaires provided to the experts that develop over the course of the survey process. A Delphi survey is performed when data from the literature is not sufficient (scarce or heterogeneous) as it is currently the case for microbiome-based biomarkers.

The aim of this Delphi survey is to assess the knowledge and perception of multiple stakeholders on two key points:

  1. The definition and qualification procedure of microbiome-based biomarkers
  2. The factors limiting the translation from discovery into qualification and clinical implementation of these microbiome-based biomarkers

For microbiome-based biomarkers the question of discovery, qualification, and clinical relevance, must be answered to improve clinical decision-making and microbiome-based drug development. Indeed, even if numerous potential microbiome-based biomarkers are described in the literature, none has gone through the qualification procedure, limiting the clinical implementation and routine usage of biomarkers of promise.

The Delphi questionnaire will be organized into two rounds, where participants respond to a set of questions within a designated time frame. The results of the first round of responses will be analysed and sent back to the same participants for a second round, during which experts will have the opportunity to reassess and justify their answers if they fall outside of the group’s median. It is important to note that the Delphi survey is completely anonymous to ensure fair and unbiased responses from all participants.

Experts in the field are defined as those who have significant experience and knowledge in microbiome-based biomarker discovery and qualification. This includes, but is not limited to: researchers, healthcare professionals, governmental institutions, competent authorities and private companies involved in microbiome research and development.

The results of this Delphi survey will be published in a position paper reporting on the state of the art of microbiome-based biomarkers, identifying the pitfalls which could hinder their qualification and clinical implementation, and finally proposing recommendations to fill these gaps by pre-competitive research topics. This information will help guide future research and development efforts in the field, leading to a more streamlined and effective process for bringing microbiome-based biomarkers to the clinic.

If you are an expert in microbiome-based biomarker development, we invite you to participate in the survey by sending an email expressing your interest to Please also feel free to share this information within your network.

For further information please visit the Human Microbiome Action website and sign-up to the Human Microbiome Action newsletter.

About Human Microbiome Action project 

Human Microbiome Action is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project (grant agreement No 964590) aiming to maximize the impact of European microbiome research and innovation to tackle the epidemics of chronic diseases. At the core of the project’s mission is the ambition to create coherence and harmony in the way microbiome research is and will be performed. By aligning, structuring and providing direction to EU microbiome research, the project will contribute to reaching a healthcare system that takes into consideration the human microbiome. The Human Microbiome Action project will develop a range of guidance documents and recommendations for researchers, public health officials and industry stakeholders to provide roadmaps for necessary foundations and key actions that allow for aligned microbiome research in the future. The project will last for three years (2021-2024) and is coordinated by Joël Doré from the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE) (