Sample Collection, Preservation, and Data Analysis in Gut Microbiome Research: Current Methods and Potential Impact on Results

The development of dietary guidance relies upon the ability to synthesize a body of evidence and arrive at a reasonably well-supported conclusion. Although publications have purported to identify characteristics of a “healthy gut microbiome”, the one certainty at present is that gut microbiome is highly variable across individuals. In addition, the reality is that gut microbiome research still requires method advancement and refinement. Continuing to improve methods, and working toward alignment across laboratories will move all closer to understanding how diet can impact health at the point of the gut microbiome. In a virtual workshop held on October 13, 2022, the current state of knowledge related to sample collection, utility of standards, sequencing, and bioinformatic and biostatistical approaches was reviewed by experts working in the field. Speakers expanded on how selection among the various methodological options can impact study results. This project includes generating a summary of these discussions will be prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Scientific Editor: Riley Hughes, PhD, Independent Scientist

Amount: $3,000

Year: 2022

This work was supported by the IAFNS Gut Microbiome.