The fine folks at Scientific American recently published a fascinating blog post about the diversity of one’s fecal bacteria. While it’s long been thought gut microbiomes can vary widely from day to day within the same person, the advent of direct-to-consumer microbiome testing has uncovered that variety can exist within the same specimen.
What? You’ve never heard of personal microbiome testing? Think of it as 23andMe for feces. Ubiome and American Gut provide this service for folks who aren’t squeamish about collecting their own stool swabs.
From the laboratory professional perspective, what do you think about this type of direct-to-consumer testing? Do you think testing a patient’s microbiome has a future in diagnostic or preventative medicine?
–Kelly Swails, MT(ASCP), is a laboratory professional, recovering microbiologist, and web editor for Lab Medicine.