Diagnostik- und Forschungszentrum

Microbiome research area

Team leader: Christine Moissl-Eichinger

Focus: The main aim is to explore the human microbiome (gut, mouth, skin, etc.) and its interactions with environmental microbiomes (e.g., interiors). Research projects encompass pregnancy and early childhood health, the nasal microbiome and sense of smell, skin and gut and the interaction of the microbiome with the human immune system. Chrstine Moissl-Eichinger is especially interested in unusual microorganisms that are difficult to detect—including archaea.  Though no pathogenic representative of these archaea is yet known, they are widespread in the environment—and also in the human body.

Networking: Thanks to Interactive Microbiome Research, the exploration of the microbiome in Graz is nationally and internationally visible. Within the Medical University of Graz, the Moissl-Eichinger working group supports clinical research in a variety of projects. In addition, the interuniversity BioTechMed initiative pools existing and new expertise in the exciting interdisciplinary field of microbiome research within the city of Graz.

Interactive Microbiome Research is well established within the Austrian Microbiome Initiative AMICI and collaborates with national and international partners worldwide.


The Nose-Brain Axis

  • The loss of the sense of smell not only represents a massive change in "sensory life" but also includes psychological and social behavioral changes. As a result, quality of life is diminished and the brain is restructured. It is known that our body is populated by billions of microorganisms that impact our health and our behavior. In this project, we investigate the interplay between the sense of smell and the composition and function of the nasal microbiome.
  • Time: 2017–2021
  • Funded by: FWF
  • Projektpartner: Hals-, Nasen-, Ohren-Universitätsklinik, Klinisches Institut für Medizinische und Chemische Labordiagnostik, Institut für Psychologie (Universität Graz), ZMF
  • Project partners: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, Institute of Psychology (University of Graz), ZMF


Archaea on the skin

  • Archaea are an important component of the human body and have been detected in the nose, lungs and intestinal tract, among others. The skin is mainly populated by Thaumarchaeota, which are also found in the natural environment (e.g., soil), where they are responsible for efficient ammonia oxidation. In this project, we investigate the interaction of these archaea with bacteria and the correlation with skin parameters such as moisture, ph value or health status.
  • Time: 2018–2022
  • Funded by: FWF
  • Project partners: Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics Unit (University of Vienna), ZMF

Inflammatory Disorders in Pregnancy

  • The research project "Inflammatory Disorders in Pregnancy" (DP-iDP) attempts to understand the interaction between pregnancy, inflammation and the placenta in maternal and fetal diseases using a variety of approaches. The Moissl-Eichinger working group is concerned with the microbiome of premature babies, the microbiome of the mother and the child during and after childbirth with a special emphasis on anaerobic microorganisms and archaea and microbial traces in the placenta.
  • Time: 2018–2022
  • Funded by: FWF
  • Project partners: Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Gottfried Schatz Research Center, ZMF

The Archaeome in Gastrointestinal Diseases

  • The human digestive tract is the site of the greatest microbial activity and interaction. This project investigates the role of the archaea in the complex structure of the gut microbiome. A special analysis is made of the impact of methane production and the role of archaea in the appendix and in premature babies and newborns.
  • Time: 2018–2022
  • Funded by: FWF
  • Project partners: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of Kiel (Germany), Pasteur Institute Paris (France), University of Clermont Auvergne (France), EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (UK), ZMF


Europlanet 2024

  • The Europlanet 2024 research infrastructure provides free access to analysis facilities for interested scientists. The focus is on planetary research and astrobiology. The Moissl-Eichinger working group assists guest researchers in detecting microorganisms in a large number of specimens relevant to life on earth and other planets.
  • Time: 2020–2024
  • Europlanet 2024 RI has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149.
  • Project partners: Europlanet Consortium with 53 partners from 21 countries, ZMF

Diagnostic and Research Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental Medicine

Christine Moissl-Eichinger  
T: +43 316 385 73770



  • Blohs Marcus
  • Duller Stefanie
  • Hameed Zobia
  • Kühnast Torben
  • Kumpitsch Christina
  • Mahnert Alexander
  • Mohammadzadeh Rokhsareh
  • Neumann Charlotte
  • Shinde Tejus
  • Vogl Thomas
  • Weinberger Viktoria
  • Wink Lisa
  • Zurabishvili Tamara


Forschungsteam um Christine Moissl-Eichinger

Videos aus der ORF-Reihe "Wissenswert"


Most recent publications and their importance