Comparison of DNA stabilizers and storage conditions on preserving fecal microbiota profiles
Journal of the Formosan Medical Association
Appropriate storage of fecal samples is a critical step for the unbiased analysis of microbial communities in metagenomic studies. Rapid freezing at -80 °C is usually considered to be best practice, but this approach is challenging. DNA stabilizing kits may provide a more convenient method to preserve and store clinical samples. We evaluated the reliability of two collection kits (Stratec stool collection tube with stabilizer, #1038111200 and OMNIgene.GUT OMR-200) on preserving fecal
... ng fecal microbiota. Samples were collected from two locations of the fecal specimen, in four healthy volunteers. The samples were sub-aliquoted and stored in a -80 °C freezer, in Stratec and OMNIgene.GUT (incubation at ambient temperature for 0, 3, or 7 days). The fecal microbial composition was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing. We found that alpha diversity was not significantly affected by storage conditions. Samples stored in DNA stabilizers were still representative of the original microbial community after 7 days at ambient temperature. Individual differences were found to have a greater contribution to the differences in microbial community composition than storage conditions or sampling location. Samples subjected to stabilizers displayed microbial community shifts compared with immediately frozen samples. A linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) analysis showed that the relative abundances of Faecalibacterium were significantly higher in samples stored in Stratec kits. Our study reveals that both Stratec and OMNIgene.GUT kits provide good microbiome preservation for up to 7 days in ambient temperature and would represent good options for fecal sample collection in large scale, population-based studies.