How does it work?
Many different micro-organisms reside in our intestine, primarily of bacterial origin, which are collectively termed the ‘microbiome’. These bacteria have a prominent influence on human health. Due to the advent of gut-microbiome testing, scientific knowledge has been generated on the composition of the gut microbiome and how this composition is affected by, for example, a change in dietary regimen. MyMicroZoo™ similarly analyses the gut-microbiome using DNA-analysis.
In the MyMicroZoo™ test kit you will find an instruction for sampling your gut microbiome, a tube to collect the sample, a faeces catcher to hygienically collect your sample using the swab and a plastic bag with absorbent material to send your sample to MyMicroZoo™ in the included envelope. The liquid in the tube (RNA Shield®) will prevent the gut microbiome sample from undergoing any significant change in composition during transit time to our laboratory.
Sample registration, information, and security
On the kit, as well as in the instruction manual and on the sample tube, a unique code is labelled which you are required to register on your personal account on the MyMicroZoo™ website after registration. Only when you have registered your personal code are we able to deliver your results, due to privacy regulations that disallow us to combine the kit-code and address information at one place.
Using a safe-connection we transfer the DNA analysis results from our laboratory to the MyMicroZoo™ website.
When registering your kit code, you will be prompted to fill out a short survey concerning your lifestyle, diet and sports activities, which we will use to map the global population averages for these factors. Also your results will be compared against this total average, and will help MyMicroZoo™ in attaining her goal of increasing understanding of the gut microbiome and its role in the improving of health, diet and mental as well as physical performance.
Please send the bubble envelope, with sufficient postal stamps (!), to the address below.
2333 BE Leiden
Determination of the bacterial composition of your sample
The first step is to isolate the DNA from the fecal sample. To identify the bacteria present in the sample we look at the 16S rRNA genes, which are present in every bacterial species. This gene has a constant and variable region, and the variable region tells us which species of bacteria is present. The 16S rRNA gene is amplified by using a specific PCR reaction and is subsequently sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq™. Our bioinformatics team then computes the resulting output into an overview of all the bacteria present in your microbiome, after which a visual report is generated on the MyMicroZoo™ website on your personal account.
Your own gut bacteria composition
At the time your results have been generated, we will send you a confirmatory e-mail that you can view your results in your account. You can log in using your regular MyMicroZoo™ website credentials, and then by selecting your specific registered kit code.
In the overview you will see a round ‘donut’ shaped figure showing the abundances, expressed in percentages, of the bacteria that were detected in your sample. By moving over the diagram you will see additional information about the function of specific bacteria if this is available (Picture 4). Below the diagram you will also see list of this information.
This overview and the additional information will give you more insights into your own gut bacteria and what these bacteria in your gut may be doing. If you are participating in a diet or lifestyle change, such as increased excersize or a different form of physical excersize, you can follow the changes in the composition in gut bacteria using multiple analyses by MyMicroZooTM and determine if the lifestyle change has a positive effect with the increase of beneficial bacteria such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii that can produce fatty acids associated with the digestion of fibre rich food.