Help mapping the female microbiome

Help mapping the female microbiome


What is Isala?

Isala (named after the first female Belgian doctor Isala Van Diest) is the brand new citizenship project of the University of Antwerp. Until now, little is known about vaginal health, and the vaginal microbiome has never been studied. The Isala project wants to change that. Using state of the art DNA technology, vaginal samples will be analyzed in order to better understand the female microbiome. The Isala project focuses on citizen research and thus appealed to 200 women who wanted to take a number of 'swabs' from their vagina, skin and saliva in their own bathroom. No fewer than 5,000 participants responded to this call.

The female microbiome

Microbiome is a collective name for all micro-organisms in and on the body. A better knowledge of these micro-organisms is important to research healthy alternatives to antibiotics, such as probiotics. There are also millions of bacteria in the vagina that can play a crucial role in women's health. For example, these bacteria can protect against infections, bladder infections, STIs, ... and it is suspected that they also play a major role in fertility and healthy pregnancies. In the long term, the Isala project aims to make connections between lifestyle and health of the microbiome in order to give women more concrete tips for improving their health.

Want to know more? Be sure to take a look at the website.

Support this project

Would you like to help put the female microbiome on the map? This is possible through a gift!

Tax relief

And did you know that donations of 40 euros or more and which are donated in 2020,  are 60 % tax deductible? An extra incentive to support 'Isala' as much as possible.

Step 1 - Payment You can transfer your gift in two ways:

  • By bank transfer to bank account number BE42 7310 4624 7854 in the name of the University of Antwerp. Always include the statement "tax certificate" and your preferred destination, in this case "Isala" in the communication.
  • Via online payment where you can immediately indicate your preferred destination.

Step 2 - Handgift form In order to be able to allocate your gift correctly, we recommend that you also provide us with the handgift form, again indicating your preferred destination, in this case: 'Isala'. Send the completed form:

- digitally: via (a scan or photo is sufficient)


- by post: University Fund Antwerp - Middelheimlaan 1 - 2020 Antwerp