Imbalances in your gut microbiome contribute to a variety of disease conditions, but are difficult and costly to diagnose and monitor with current methods.
The trillions of microorganisms in our body are collectively known as the human microbiome. Bacterial cells make up most of the microbiome and significantly outnumber our own cells. Bacteria reside both on the body surfaces as well as within the body, including the skin, mouth, nose, and gastrointestinal tract. The largest microbial community found in the body resides in the intestines and is known as the gut microbiome.
These commensal bacteria have co-evolved with humans over millions of years and have established a complex mutualistic relationship with their human hosts. The microbiome plays a critical role in human health and variations in its composition have been linked to changes in overall health status.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Colorectal Cancer
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Cardiovascular Diseases
… and many others.
In recent years, scientists have learnt more about the critical role that the gut microbiome plays in human health and disease. For instance, normal bacterial flora can help us digest complex foods, enhance our immunity, and even influence our behaviours. Studies focusing on the gut microbiome in the context of different diseases have allowed researchers to show that imbalances in microbiome profiles are associated with susceptibility to multiple common and rare disease conditions.
Many health conditions that are caused or aggravated by imbalances of the microbiome go unnoticed, due to currently limited methods to sample the human gut microbiome. Existing technologies such as faecal swabs are inaccurate, while endoscopies or colonoscopies are too expensive, invasive, and inconvenient for use as a screening tool.
It would be beneficial to replace existing technologies with a simple, minimally invasive, and affordable solution that is accurate and comfortable for regular use.