New Findings: What is the topic of this review? The role of the gut microbiome in physiology and how it can be targeted as an effective strategy against two of the most important global medical challenges of our time, namely, metabolic diseases and antibacterial resistance. What advances does it highlight? The critical roles of the microbiome in regulating host physiology and how microbiome analysis is useful for disease stratification to enable informed clinical decisions and develop interventions such as faecal microbiota transplantation, prebiotics and probiotics. Also, the limitations of microbiome modulation, including the potential for probiotics to enhance antimicrobial resistance gene reservoirs, and that currently a 'healthy microbiome' that can be used as a biobank for transplantation is yet to be defined.