International Human Microbiome Standards (IHMS)

At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2011
  • Initiating Organization: European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • No disease focus
  • Location: Europe



A detailed understanding of human-microbe symbiosis requires a precise characterization of human-associated microorganisms, the human microbiome. To progress toward this ambitious goal it is of utmost importance that the data generated in each of many large projects involved in human metagenome research be optimally comparable. The International Human Microbiome Standards (IHMS) project coordinated the development of standard operating procedures designed to optimize data quality and comparability in the human microbiome field.

Overall, IHMS focused on all key aspects of human sample identification, collection, and processing to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence generation and analysis.

Structure & Governance

IHMS consisted of different work packages:


IHMS was supported by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme.

Data Sharing

IHMS organized public access to downloadable standard operating procedures and enabled exchanges between users and providers of the standards.

Sponsors & Partners


Baylor College of Medicine


Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease

Danone Nutricia Research



INRA Science and Impact

Medical University of Graz

Merieux NutriSciences


Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health University of Aberdeen

Shanghai Jlao Tong University

Statens Serum Institut

The University of Tokyo

University of British Columbia

University of Florida

University of Guelph

Vall d’Hebron Hospital

Wageningen UR


Last Updated: 04/15/2016

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