Below is a list of frequently asked questions we have heard from numerous professionals. If you have any other questions, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our customer service line: (216) 394-0544. We are always looking to keep a continuing dialogue with professional colleagues within the digestive wellness community!
What is the technology behind our sequencing and how do we compare?
As a company policy we do not comment on other companies. So a couple of things. First, for bacteria we use 16-S sequencing, which is the standard in bacteria.
For fungi, we use ITS sequencing, which is bleeding edge technology in the industry.
Now a few things to keep in mind. It's not as simple as plugging a sequencing machine in and sequencing the microbiome. These tests have to be optimized and standardized over years of sequencing. So while there are many companies out there that are popping up, our lab has been doing this for years for the NIH and global pharma companies.
Also, Dr. Ghannoum's lab has over 30,000 clinical species of fungi in its collection, once of the larges collections in the world, and we believe the largest in the US outside of the CDC. Having that collection allows us to optimize our sequencing unlike anyone else. In fact, CDC has reached out to Dr Ghannoum to borrow species they don't have in the past.
Through that, I feel comfortable saying our expertise is unparalleled.
Additionally, there is a difference between being able to reliably (key point) detect various things, and those things actually meaning anything.
For example, you'll hear the term metabolites being bandied around quite a bit.
The science is so incredibly early on what they actually do, or what impact they have, that it really is basically useless data, even if it's reliable. So while we could whip out tests to detect all sorts of stuff, our philosophy is that we would prefer to stick to a. what we know we can reliably detect, b. what is actually going to be useful to you. Hope that makes sense.
Also, just to being completely clear, while I have heard of at least one of those companies, I honestly don't know anything specifically about either of them. I'm truly just making general comments for people to consider.
What genetic information are we gathering?
We complete a straightforward analysis of the biota of the gut's bacteria and fungi. Specifically, the BIOHM Gut Report process sequences the microbial DNA in your fecal sample to look for specific markers that are present in different microbial groups such as phylum and species levels of bacteria and fungi. Put more simply, the DNA analysis is of the microorganisms in your gut.
What are the details behind the BIOHM Candida Test?
The assay was developed using qPCR (quantitative PCR) approach, with proprietary probes designed to target genes specifically found in four medically relevant Candida species: Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis and Candida glabrata. We validated each probe for specificity by integrating the above mentioned species, as well as, several other Candida species not mentioned above. Once accuracy of species identification was complete we generated profiles of known copy number for each gene. Using this approach we are able report the proportion of the four species found in fecal matter on a swab (~100mg).
Reminder: As a general wellness product, the BIOHM Gut Report & BIOHM Candida Report are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or any other conditions.