The oral microbiome is both highly abundant and highly diverse in bacteria, as well as other microbes such as viruses, fungi, and archaea. The oral microbiome interacts with the host, while also having many influences from the surrounding environment. Since this microbiome is so transient in nature, to capture the oral microbiome it is imperative to stabilise the snapshot until it arrives in our lab. There are several standardized testing methods to examine the microbiome of oral samples such as amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, and whole genome sequencing (see full list below). Our team has experience with various protocols and can advise on a workflow that meets your needs.
DRY SWABS: For dry swabs we recommend using the Becton-Dickinson, BBL CultureSwab EZ II which includes a double-swab encased in a rigid non-breathable transport tube. For all other dry swabs make sure to keep the wrapper for transport to our lab. To best optimise your downstream process, it is recommended to use two swabs (or one BD DBL CultureSwab II) to maximize your DNA content per sampling session.
DEVICES WITH BUFFER: Both Norgen Biotek and DNA Genotek Inc. are manufacturers of biological specimen collection devices that incorporate a lytic stabilization buffer for storage at ambient temperature. See the Resources section below for a quick link to the recommended kits. Please refer to each manufacturer for more detail.