Who: Ron Davis’s lab at Stanford University is conducting a functional microbiome study in collaboration with Harvard University and Vassar College. They are looking for severely Ill, primarily bed-bound patients within the United States to participate.
What: Participants will be asked to provide a one-time fecal swab which can be collected at home and sent to the lab by mail. Including the online consenting and questionnaires, the entire process should take 30-60 minutes.
Why: They will be analyzing the complex community of microbes known as the gut microbiome. An exciting finding from the SIPS (Severely-Ill Patient Study) is that people with severe ME have low levels of certain small molecules (metabolites) in the blood that are known to be neuroprotective and that control inflammation. Given the neurological and immunological symptoms, they believe these findings are important. Some of these metabolites are made by microbes in the gut. The particular microbiome data collected in the SIPS study is very limited; by sequencing one specific gene of the bacteria present, it only identifies the taxonomy (it answers the question “who is there?”). Given the findings that certain microbial metabolites may be involved in disease, it is important to know the metabolic functions of the gut microbes. This information can be obtained through a different kind of DNA sequencing approach called Shallow Shotgun Metagenomics, in which all the DNA of the gut microbiome is sequenced, instead of just one gene (this answers the question “what are they doing?”)”
When: Upon completion of the recruitment of a minimum of 20 severely ill ME/CFS patients
How to participate:
NOTE: This study is no longer enrolling.
Email Anna Okumu at [email protected] and mention the “fecal swab study” in the subject line of the email. Participants will receive a $25 Amazon gift card upon receipt of their sample which will be sent in a pre-labeled, self-addressed package provided by the researchers.
Participant’s rights questions, contact 1-866-680-2906