Frequently asked questions

If you are interested in learning what your “normal” gut microbiome looks like, it is best to collect a sample at a time when you have maintained your regular daily habits and diet for at least two weeks prior to sampling. This is because changes to your normal habits such as overseas travel, short-term use of supplements, changes to exercise habits and eating new foods can impact your gut microbiome. It is also important to try and collect a sample from a bowel movement that is typical for you.

You can check the status of your kit in the Microba Discovery Portal. This is where you manage your kit(s), answer the questionnaires, view your online interactive results and book your Microbiome Coach session.

If you haven’t created your Microba Discovery Portal account you can do so here:

To send a kit (which currently says “Kit Available”):

1) In your Microba account, go to “My Journey” and locate the kit that has the status “Kit Available”
2) Locate the kit that has the status “Kit Available.”
2) Click “Select option” on the kit
3) Choose “Send this kit to me now,” click proceed, and follow the final prompts.

When the kit says “Packing” it means that we are preparing to ship the kit to you in the next dispatch.

Once you have requested your kit, your microbiome test kit will be dispatched as soon as possible. This usually takes 2-3 business days and time your kit status will show as “Packing” during this time. You will receive an email once your kit has been sent. The kit status will also update in the Microba Discovery Portal to say “Dispatched”.

Kits will be shipped via Australia Post from our headquarters in Brisbane. Australia Post states it will take between 3-6 days to reach metro areas, and a bit longer for other areas in the country. Thus, we estimate total shipping times will likely take between 5 – 12 days.

If you have purchased a kit for someone else, then you can choose to ‘give a kit to someone’ from within the Microba Discovery Portal.

To send a kit (which currently says “Kit Available”) to somebody else:

1) In your Microba account, go to “My Journey” and locate the kit that has the status “Kit Available”
2) Click “Select option” on the kit
3) Select “Give kit to someone else” and click proceed
4) Enter the email address (different from your own) for the person you are sending the kit and click send

This will send an email to the person you have gifted the kit. Once the other person receives that email, they can follow the instructions to setup their own Microba account and redeem that kit for themselves.

Please note that to set up a Microba account, the other person will need to use a different email address than the one you are using. Each Microba Discovery Portal account requires a unique email address.

It takes between 4-6 weeks to process and analyse a sample once we receive it in our lab. During this time, we will keep you up to date by sending emails along the way, including when we receive your sample in our lab and when your results are ready to view online. Additionally, once created, you can log into your account at any time in the Microba Discovery Portal to view the progress of your sample.

The Microba Insight™ results are available on our Microba Discovery Portal. Only you (the account holder) can access your personal results via a unique login to the Portal. The reports are easy-to-understand and interactive, featuring tools, graphs, and animations. The Portal allows you to discover and compare your gut microbiome at your own pace and learn as much as you like about current knowledge on the microorganisms inhabiting your gut. Additionally, you will have the option to download and print a copy of your results as a PDF report.

The Microba Insight™ report is intended to be used for informational purposes only. The results of your microbiome test are not intended to be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions. This test will provide you with a detailed overview of which microorganisms are resident in your gut and what they might be doing. This in turn may provide insight into your overall gut health.

Fungi and protists are a normal part of the human microbiome, but as always if you have concerns, please see your health care practitioner. The Microba Insight™ report will identify the gut microorganisms present, including fungal and protist species for which there is genomic information available. However, because we sequence all the microorganisms in your gut, instead of targeting specific species, fungal and protist species may not be detected if the proportion of them in your gut microbiome is very low.

The Microba Insight™ report provides personalised dietary suggestions to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. If you have a medical condition or take regular medication, it is important to speak to your medical practitioner before making significant changes to your diet.

Using our unique metagenomics sequencing methods and the expert analysis of our scientists, a personalised report of your unique gut microbiome is generated to show you:

The members of your microbial community:

  • A comprehensive list of the bacteria in your gut, and the abundance of each microorganism
  • Clear identification of potentially beneficial or problematic bacteria
  • Easy-to-understand descriptions of your gut microbes
  • The presence of key fungi and protists
  • The overall diversity of your microbiome

What your microbial community is capable of:

  • The potential for your microbiome to digest carbohydrates, protein, and fat
  • The potential of your microbiome to produce essential vitamins and short chain fatty acids
  • Personalised dietary suggestions to promote a healthy microbiome

How your microbial community compares to others:

  • A comprehensive outline of your unique microbiome features
  • The way your report compares to different groups of people based on categories such as age and gender.

The Microba Insight™ report allows you to learn about your unique gut microbiome in high-resolution. You can use the report to:

  • Monitor how your gut microbiome changes with lifestyle adjustments. For example, if you need to take antibiotics, you can monitor how quickly your microbiome recovers. Or, if you want to improve your gut microbiome by making changes to your diet and/or exercise habits, you can monitor your microbiome to see if the changes have worked.
  • Identify overgrowths of a particular species within your microbiome. Please consult with a medical practitioner if you have any concerns.
  • Learn if the probiotics you have been taking are present in your sample.
  • Learn which microorganisms are in your gut and what they might be doing.
  • Learn which foods can be added to your diet to promote a healthy microbiome.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that human microbiome analysis is an emerging field; new discoveries are made almost every week about how the different microorganisms in our body interact with us and with each other. As more information is gained, consensus about what different microbes are doing can change.
The information in your profile is meant for you to gain a better understanding of your personal microbiome and how it may change in response to lifestyle choices. It is not a diagnostic tool and cannot be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

Most other microbiome profiling companies use 16S rRNA gene sequencing. This method only sequences a small portion of a single gene to identify known bacterial groups and leaves out the rest of your microbiome. The results are often biased and not reproducible between different labs. Functional information, including what your various gut bacteria do, is limited to known bacteria, which misses a large portion of your overall microbiome.

Microba uses full metagenomics (also called shotgun metagenomics), the most reproducible, least biased and comprehensive DNA sequencing method to provide you with a high-resolution picture of your gut microbiome. Metagenomics is a powerful tool where all the genes from the micro-organisms in your sample are sequenced, allowing you to see not just bacteria, but also fungi, protists, and archaea. This method can also identify microorganisms at the species or even strain level and reveals what your microbes are capable of.

Yes, microbiome test kits are available for children between the ages of 2 and 18 years if ordered through a parent or guardian. Once an account is created, a consent form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian. We do not provide testing for children under the age of 2 at this time, but we will be developing a special test for infants in the future.

Certain medications can affect your microbiome. These include antibiotics, immunotherapy, immunosuppressants, chemotherapy, cholesterol lowering drugs, acid reflux/indigestion treatments, and the diabetes medication ‘metformin’, among others. This does not mean that you cannot complete the microbiome test. However, be aware your microbiome may differ when you are on these medications. Always consult with your physician before making any changes to your medication.

Yes, anyone can take a Microba Insight™ test. Our method of testing your gut bacteria is non-invasive and the initial test can be completed in the privacy of your own home. If you have a medical condition, please consult with a medical professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Our test is not covered by any medical rebates. This is an area we are actively investigating.

Generally, we will only use or disclose personal information about you for the purposes for which it was collected (as set out above). We may disclose personal information about you to:

a) service providers and partners, who assist us in operating our business;

b) any industry body, tribunal and/or court in connection with any complaint made by you about us; and

c) any other organisation or person with your consent or as permitted or required by law.

We may also disclose to Australia Post certain personal information you provide us (such as your email address, phone number and/or residential address) in connection with us providing our services to you (this information may be used by Australia Post for the purposes of providing notification of tracking events and collecting any relevant feedback in relation to the delivery or tracking service).

We do not typically or routinely disclose personal information to overseas recipients, although this may change over time. Unless we have your consent, or an exception under the APPs applies, we will only disclose your personal information to overseas recipients where we have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the APPs in relation to your personal information.

For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Tests can only be ordered online by the individual who is taking the test. However, results can be downloaded and printed if you wish to bring a copy of your report to your GP.

Microba takes your privacy seriously. You can read our Privacy Policy here.