Sample Handling Guidelines

Samples may be collected using the various methods described in our sample collection guidelines page. After samples have been collected the objective is to retain the microbial snapshot of your sample. Below are our recommendations on storage of your samples prior to transport.

Devices with buffer:

Samples that are collected using a stabilization buffer for storage at ambient temperature need not be kept in the freezer unless you will be storing your samples longer that the kit’s stability timeframe outlined by the collection kit manufacturer. Likewise, these samples can be transported to our facility without dry ice UNLESS you are removing them from the freezer to ship. In this case, samples must be shipped on dry ice with enough dry ice to last the duration of transport.

Devices without buffer (dry swabs, plant, soil):

At home /field collection: Household freezers (at -20°C) tend to fluctuate in temperature. Because of this, we recommend that samples be stored in your freezer immediately after collection, and arrangements be made for shipment on dry-ice within 24 hours to your study’s central storage laboratory, or to Microbiome Insights, to be stored in a laboratory grade freezer.

Clinic Collection: Samples collected at the clinic or central collecting site must be stored at -80°C. When shipping, samples must be on dry ice with enough dry ice to last the duration of transport.

When you are ready to ship your samples to our facility we ask that you read the shipping instructions carefully, and seek our assistance prior to shipping any samples.