ALS launches Gut Microbiome Sequencing to empower global health research

ALS' new Gut Microbiome Sequencing service leverages proprietary sample collection technology and next-generation sequencing to offer researchers around the world publication-ready data for insights into the human and animal gut microbiome.

woman reaching towards screen of digital display of gut microbiome
21 FEB 2024

Global testing leader ALS has introduced the Gut Microbiome Sequencing service, offering researchers around the world a complete solution for obtaining comprehensive, publication-ready data to deliver in-depth insights into the human and animal gut microbiome.

ALS’ new microbiome sequencing service includes the use of cutting-edge technologies: Invitek Diagnostics Sample Collection Tubes, which allow shelf-stable storage of stool samples for up to 3 months, Invitek Diagnostics DNA Extraction Kits, high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS), and data management through the ALS Solutions platform. Supported by project guidance from the ALS team of experienced microbiome researchers, the service optimises the management of a range of project types and sizes: from enabling a client’s analysis of an individual customer’s gut microbiome health to generating data for large cohort studies that seek broader insights.  

“Some of our clients use Invitek Diagnostics sample collection devices in their services that assess the impact of an individual's lifestyle on their gut microbiome,” says Josué Carvalho, Business and Strategic Relations Officer, Food & Pharmaceutical at ALS. “However, many of these companies lack the laboratory infrastructure and capabilities to generate the data themselves.”
 
“We can now provide these companies with a full, comprehensive service to help them serve their customers with data-based lifestyle recommendations,” Carvalho explains.
 
To achieve this high level of data reliability, ALS uses high-resolution microbiome sequencing, which enables the accurate analysis of known and novel microbes, and precise differentiation of closely related species. The cutting-edge nanopore-based sequencing technology used in the service enables sequencing of the entire microbial communities of the intestinal ecosystem, revealing the taxonomic composition down to the genus and species level. 

This advanced technology also enables high-throughput sequencing of hundreds of samples, so beyond supporting clients in providing individual health assessments, the microbiome service is ideal for large population research projects. This high-throughput capability, combined with ALS’ vast global network of site operations, enables fast turnaround times and streamlined workflows.

For such larger studies, leveraging ALS’ gut microbiome service has important research potential. Carvalho cites, for example, a study being conducted by a European academic institution that is analysing stool samples from about 4,000 patients using the Invitek Diagnostics collection tubes and generating NGS data to study colorectal cancer. Researchers conducting studies like this may now incorporate sequencing, data management, and collaboration resources from the same company they trust for their sample collection.

“Gut microbiome analysis is also applicable for research in the field of animal production,” adds Carvalho. “For instance, a veterinary company introducing a new probiotic or improvement for animal feed will want to evaluate its impact on the animals. We just started offering the service, and we already have multiple clients using it for animal microbiome research.”

From sample collection and shipment to DNA extraction, sequencing, and data management, the new service is designed to simplify the workflow of clients across all research types, while each individual project can be precisely customised to meet specific study requirements.

To learn more about the ALS Gut Microbiome service, contact Josué Carvalho at josue.carvalho@alsglobal.com.
 
 
About ALS Limited
A global leader in testing, ALS provides comprehensive testing solutions to clients in a wide range of industries around the world. Using state-of-the-art technologies and innovative methodologies, our dedicated international teams deliver highest-quality testing services and personalized solutions supported by local expertise. We help our clients leverage the power of data-driven insights for a safer and healthier world.