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Microbiota of the indoor environment: a meta-analysis

Overview of attention for article published in Microbiome, October 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (93rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (75th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
1 policy source
27 tweeters
2 Facebook pages
2 Wikipedia pages


198 Dimensions

Readers on

413 Mendeley
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Microbiota of the indoor environment: a meta-analysis
Published in
Microbiome, October 2015
DOI 10.1186/s40168-015-0108-3
Pubmed ID

Rachel I. Adams, Ashley C. Bateman, Holly M. Bik, James F. Meadow


As modern humans, we spend the majority of our time in indoor environments. Consequently, environmental exposure to microorganisms has important implications for human health, and a better understanding of the ecological drivers and processes that impact indoor microbial assemblages will be key for expanding our knowledge of the built environment. In the present investigation, we combined recent studies examining the microbiota of the built environment in order to identify unifying community patterns and the relative importance of indoor environmental factors. Ultimately, the present meta-analysis focused on studies of bacteria and archaea due to the limited number of high-throughput fungal studies from the indoor environment. We combined 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene datasets from 16 surveys of indoor environments conducted worldwide, additionally including 7 other studies representing putative environmental sources of microbial taxa (outdoor air, soil, and the human body). Combined analysis of subsets of studies that shared specific experimental protocols or indoor habitats revealed community patterns indicative of consistent source environments and environmental filtering. Additionally, we were able to identify several consistent sources for indoor microorganisms, particularly outdoor air and skin, mirroring what has been shown in individual studies. Technical variation across studies had a strong effect on comparisons of microbial community assemblages, with differences in experimental protocols limiting our ability to extensively explore the importance of, for example, sampling locality, building function and use, or environmental substrate in structuring indoor microbial communities. We present a snapshot of an important scientific field in its early stages, where studies have tended to focus on heavy sampling in a few geographic areas. From the practical perspective, this endeavor reinforces the importance of negative "kit" controls in microbiome studies. From the perspective of understanding mechanistic processes in the built environment, this meta-analysis confirms that broad factors, such as geography and building type, structure indoor microbes. However, this exercise suggests that individual studies with common sampling techniques may be more appropriate to explore the relative importance of subtle indoor environmental factors on the indoor microbiome.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 27 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 413 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 8 2%
Portugal 1 <1%
Malaysia 1 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
Estonia 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Unknown 400 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 85 21%
Researcher 81 20%
Student > Bachelor 57 14%
Student > Master 45 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 21 5%
Other 57 14%
Unknown 67 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 105 25%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 60 15%
Environmental Science 36 9%
Engineering 28 7%
Immunology and Microbiology 27 7%
Other 67 16%
Unknown 90 22%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 31. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 May 2022.
All research outputs
of 23,204,238 outputs
Outputs from Microbiome
of 1,472 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 280,060 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Microbiome
of 20 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 23,204,238 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,472 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 40.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 280,060 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 20 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its contemporaries.