Frequently asked questions
It won’t be long! We expect to start shipping the first kits in June of 2018. We will email you with instructions to create an account through our website and claim your sample kit by entering your reference number (we will provide you with this before launch).
It takes between four to six 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 you email notifications at each step of the process: when we receive your sample in our lab, when your sample is being sequenced, when your data is being analysed, and when your results are ready to view online. Additionally, once created, you can log into your account at any time to view the progress of your sample.
The Microba Insight™ results are available on our secure, interactive website that only you (the account holder) can access. This 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. This test is 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.
The Microba Insight™ report provides personalised dietary suggestions to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, and reduce the growth of less desirable 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.
The Microba Insight™ report will include information on:
Who is there
- Bacterial species present and their abundance
- The proportion of key fungi and protists present
- Identification of potentially beneficial and problematic bacteria
- Identification of bacteria commonly used as probiotics
- Easy-to-understand descriptions of your gut microbes
- The overall diversity of your microbiome
- Predictions about your ethnicity, age, body mass index, and other factors based solely on your microbiome information.
What they can do
- The potential of your microbiome to digest carbohydrates, protein and fat
- The potential of microorganisms in your sample to produce essential vitamins
- Personalised dietary suggestions to promote a healthy microbiome
How you compare
- Compare your results to different groups of people based on categories such as diet, age and fitness.
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. 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 services use 16S rRNA gene sequencing – a method that only sequences a small portion of a single gene to identify known bacterial groups and leaves out the rest of your microbiome. Results are often biased and not reproducible between different labs. Functional information, that is, what your gut bacteria do, is limited to known bacteria, which misses a large portion of your 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 microorganisms in your sample are sequenced, allowing you to see not just bacteria, but also fungi, protists, archaea, and viruses. This method also identifies microorganisms at the species or even strain level and reveals what your microbes are capable of doing.
Pre-orders are available for individuals under the age of 18 through a parent or guardian. Once an account is created, a consent form will need to be signed by the parent or guardian.
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 take the test, but be aware your microbiome may differ when you are on these medications. Always consult with your physician before making any changes to your medication.
Anyone can take a Microba Insight™ test. It is non-invasive and can be taken 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.
You have the opportunity to help make a difference by increasing our understanding of how the human gut microbiome impacts health. This may lead to scientific publications, the discovery of new therapeutics for disease, or non-invasive tests to help diagnose disease.
All data we use for research purposes is de-identified and becomes part of a large-scale effort to advance our understanding of how the gut microbiome impacts human health.
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.
Yes. These microorganisms are a normal part of the human microbiome, but as always if you have concerns, please see your healthcare practitioner.