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The tracks that microbes leave in cities are followed on the MetaSub website

The idea started in the summer of 2013 with the PathoMap project, focused on the New York metagenoma profile, which explored the areas of greatest traffic in the urban environment, and especially in the metropolitan area. The Mason lab initiative aimed to identify possible biological threats and provide a new layer of city management information.

Since then, the idea has spread and currently MetSub extends to cities on all continents, and also includes Lisbon, and includes a number of partners and several projects. The logic remains, however, the identification of DNA maps of microbiomes in transport systems, not only underground but also surface, which transport thousands or millions of passengers a day and where the microbes remain on the surfaces, allowing humans to contact new species of bacteria.

The initiative seems more logical in the time of the pandemic that we are living with the disease of COVID-19, and the risks of contagion, but the maps and the research combined are an overview, with indicators since 2016. The data are then used by researchers, and the project is open to new collaborations.

The video explains the project and the work already done.