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Microbiome self-testing can yield answers to questions about health, treatment options, and medical intervention effectiveness.
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Microbiome Testing: Informing the Future with Microbial Genomics

Genomic information from the microbes in your gut may help with disease prevention, treatment, and monitoring

Photo portrait of Marnie Willman, BSc
Marnie Willman, BSc

Marnie Willman, BSc, is Today’s Clinical Lab’s creative services writer/editor. Marnie obtained her BSc from Vancouver Island University and is currently completing her PhD in medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba. Her doctoral dissertation was focused on the discovery of novel therapeutics for influenza A virus, during which time she also worked as a freelance science writer. Her work has been published in Viruses, iScience, Journal of Virology, Massive Science, The Wire, ASBMB Today, Salon, and MyHealthTeams.

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Published:Jul 28, 2023
|2 min read

The gut microbiome and your health

The gut microbiome—the collection of microbes that inhabit your gut—is known to contribute to the development of adverse health conditions including type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer. The microbes in your body outnumber your own cells by approximately 10:1, so it’s unsurprising that they play a significant role in human health. With advances in gut microbiome testing and characterization, more light can be shed on the composition of your gut microbiome than ever before—information clinicians can use to monitor diseases, make personalized treatment decisions, and effectively manage your health.

Microbial genomics and its role in healthcare

Microbiome testing is performed using metagenomic analysis. For example, a fecal sample contains a large amount of gut microbes. By processing this sample and sequencing the microbial DNA it contains, a laboratorian can identify the microbial populations that form the gut microbiome. Comparing the results to other findings and what is known about many of these microbes, the results and conclusions can provide clinicians with information on how the microbial makeup may be affecting an individual’s health.

Dysbiosis refers to a microbial community in a diseased or abnormal state. Researchers around the world now have access to the genomic makeups of many microbiomes, allowing them to compare findings and differentiate between healthy and unhealthy microbial states. Information about the state of an individual’s microbiome can show whether or not a treatment is effective (based on microbiome changes since treatment initiation), and may even aid in preventative medicine by identifying dysbiosis early so that the problem can be treated before it escalates.

At-home microbial testing options

Microbiome testing has traditionally been performed in a medical lab, but now, at-home testing options are emerging. For example, the OMIgene-GUT by DNA Genotek can be used to collect and stabilize a sample for gut microbiome profile analysis in the comfort of your home. Once the sample has been collected, it is room-temperature stable and can be mailed back to the lab at your convenience for testing. 

Interested in learning more about at-home gut microbiome testing? Watch DNA Genotek’s new Microbiome Testing Webinar today.