Optimization of fecal sample processing for microbiome study - The journey from bathroom to bench.


Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]


Although great interest has been displayed by researchers in the contribution of gut microbiota to human health, there is still no standard protocol with consensus to guarantee the sample quality of metagenomic analysis. Here we reviewed existing methodology studies and present suggestions for optimizing research pipeline from fecal sample collection to DNA extraction. First, we discuss strategies of clinical metadata collection as common confounders for microbiome research. Second, we propose general principles for freshly collected fecal sample and its storage and share a DIY stool collection kit protocol based on the manual procedure of Human Microbiome Project (HMP). Third, we provide a useful information of collection kit with DNA stabilization buffers and compare their pros and cons for multi-omic study. Fourth, we offer technical strategies as well as information of novel tools for sample aliquoting before long-term storage. Fifth, we discuss the substantial impact of different DNA extraction protocols on technical variations of metagenomic analysis. And lastly, we point out the limitation of current methods and the unmet needs for better quality control of metagenomic analysis. We hope the information provided here will help investigators in this exciting field to advance their studies while avoiding experimental artifacts.


Gut microbiome,Sample processing,Standardization,Stool collection,Storage condition,

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