The largely overlooked resident fungal community plays a critical role in human health and disease.

At a workshop held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last September on the role of human microbiota in infectious disease, I was disheartened not to hear a single talk on the fungal community—the mycobiome. Disheartened, but not surprised. Ignoring the fungal kingdom is nothing new. More than five years ago, my colleague and I tried to draw attention to this issue in a letter published in Microbe, recommending that the Human Microbiome Project should investigate not just people’s bacterial inhabitants, but the fungal and viral commensal communities as well. While research on the human virome has increased in recent years, the scientific community has not heeded our advice with regard to the fungal components of the microbiome. As of November 2015, only 269 of more than 6,000 Web of Science search results for the term “microbiome” even mention “fungus,” and the scientific search engine returns only 55 papers pertaining to the “mycobiome.”

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