A Diagrammatic Mini-Review on the Soil-Human Health-Nexus with a Focus on Soil Microbes

Document Type : Review


1 Agricultural Microbiology, Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute, Giza, Egypt

2 Microbiology department, Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center.

3 Soil improvement.SWERI.AR.C.

4 Soil and Water Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt

5 DE MÉK, Institute of Animal Science, Biotechnology and Nature Conservation, Department of Animal Husbandry, Nanofood Laboratory, Debrecen University, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary

6 Dean, College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences Agriculture Building, Room 200 Southern Illinois University 1205 Lincoln Drive Carbondale, IL 62901 USA


Recognition of the links between soil and human health goes back thousands of years, when ancient people recognized the value of soil and its potential for human life. As a dynamic, complex, and open system soil consists of flora and fauna (microbes and others), water, air, and mineral and organic particles. These components of soil may cause negative (diseases, nutrient imbalances) and/or positive (supply of antibiotics, bioactives, secondary metabolites, or essential nutrients) impacts on human health. Soil microbes are a crucial component of the soil system that can cause human diseases or be used in the production of antibiotics and other drugs. There is still great need to study the soil microbial community, as new soil microbes are regularly discovered along with new compounds that are beneficial to human health, such as drugs, bioactives, and secondary metabolites. This mini-review discuses the potential of soil microbes, including their positive and negative influences within the soil-human health nexus. This work is unique in that it mainly depends on diagrammatic presentations, which can explain the target meaning in a very simple manner.