Microbial content and diversity within collected gut, rectal, vaginal, skin, oral, or soil samples can provide a wealth of clues about human and animal health. However, current microbiome collection methods subject the samples to harsh and stressful stabilization techniques such as freezing or harsh organic solvents. Both stabilization approaches have several drawbacks which can hinder proper modeling for machine learning and fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) processes:
- Freezing: Requires well-monitored cold chain storage and transport – Cost associated with cold chain transport – Alters microbial representation from point of collection to processing – Limited to DNA analysis – Thawing sample requires pre-processing which affects DNA quality – Somewhat limits re-culturing of samples, therefore affecting proper modeling or FMT processes
- Organic solvents: Alters microbial representation from point of collection to processing – Limited to DNA and somewhat for RNA analysis – Limited sample shelf life – Re-culturing is not possible, limiting modeling and FMT processes
Mawi DNA Technologies extends its iSWAB technology into microbiome research. The iSWAB-Microbiome (MB) is a non-lytic technology that enables ambient collection and transport of various biosamples, while maintaining the status quo at the time of collection. iSWAB-MB provides a representative snapshot of the microbial community that remains unchanged from collection to processing of oral, gut/fecal, skin, vaginal, and soil samples. Purified DNA or RNA isolated from collected samples are compatible with qPCR, microarray, and NGS for microbiome research in health, wellness, and forensics.
- Microbial presentation maintained intact and viable from time of collection up to 8 weeks (real time testing ongoing).
- Both aerobic and anaerobic bacterial communities stabilized from collection to processing.
- Ambient temperature transport and storage with no cold chain involvement
- ISWAB-MB buffer allows selective isolation of bacterial DNA or RNA with minimal or no human genomic DNA contamination.
- No organic hazardous solvent fixatives or detergents.
- The microbial community within the sample will remain in stasis and can only be re-grown if removed from the iSWAB-MB environment and subjected to nutrient media supporting microbial growth.
- Purified bacterial DNA or RNA isolated from collected samples are compatible with qPCR, microarray and NGS based applications.
- Scalable and customizable platform capable of stabilizing up to 20g of fecal or soil material.