Researchers validate the use of stool samples for microbiome studies

Scientists studying the human gut microbiome often analyze stool to measure what’s living in the gut. However, they were uncertain how well those samples represented the microbial make-up of the intestine. Reporting in Cell Host & Microbe, a team led by Curtis Huttenhower and Xochitl Morgan of the Broad Institute and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health used 16S sequencing to compare the microbial composition in stool with that found in the intestines of rhesus macaques. The team discovered that microbial communities found in feces correlated highly with those found in the large intestines and moderately with those of the small intestines, supporting the use of stool in microbiome studies.