Microbiological examination of the intestine (microbiota)
Microecological status — this study is based on the determination of specific substances that microbes contain in their cell wall or secrete in the course of their vital activity.
If pathogenic microflora prevails, problems with immunity, nervous system, digestion begin, appetite decreases, memory and concentration deteriorate, various diseases develop.
Microbiota blood test consists in identifying microbial markers that can indicate the presence of inflammatory, infectious and other diseases in the body.
Microbiota analysis by GC-MS “Dried blood spot testing” (DBS)
To find out the state of your microbiota, we offer GC-MS blood tests – laboratory analysis of biomaterial assessment using gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry. The method is based on the identification of DNA of microorganisms with an assessment of their ratio and abundance. According to the results of this analysis, the presence of different types of bacteria in the body is determined and their effect on the patient’s body is determined.
Microbiota analysis helps to make the correct diagnosis and identify the real cause of the patient’s problems, as well as to further monitor his condition, control and adjust treatment.
Microbiota research can be prescribed by specialists in various fields of medicine: surgeons, gastroenterologists, urologists, gynecologists, dermatologists.
What is the GC-MS method?
GC-MS (stands for gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry) is a method that is based on two methods: gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry. HMS helps to assess the state of the microflora of the small intestine.
This method represents a new direction in microbiology, namely the diagnosis of infections and inflammation by markers (microbial chemicals). They are contained in microorganisms or formed by them. The principle of marker diagnostics is that they differ significantly in structure from human cells. For example, a person has more than 20 types of fatty acids, and microbes have about 200, so it is not difficult to detect the presence of microbes in the human body.
Description of the microbiota study by GC-MS method
A blood test allows you to assess the state of the microbial balance of the body as a whole, as well as to detect the presence of inflammatory processes of different localization. With the help of the GC-MS method, dozens of different groups of microorganisms in the human body are simultaneously and directly determined with high accuracy: bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Today, this blood drop study provides detailed information about the number and composition of microorganisms in the biotope of the small intestine.
The most relevant of them are:
- Normoflora – Lactobacillus spp, Bifidobacterium spp, etc.
- Gram-negative bacteria – Gram(–)
- Anaerobic bacteria – Clostridium spp, Staphylococcus spp, etc.
- Fungi and viruses – Candida spp, Herpes simplex, etc.
- Plasmalogen and endotoxin.
When you need to take a blood test by the GC-MS method:
- Long-term use of antibiotics.
- Suspected violation of microflora.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Frequent constipation or diarrhea.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Excessive gas formation.
- Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
- Pregnancy planning.
- Stool disorders (after COVID-19).
- Tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, pleurisy.
- Various ENT diseases: otitis media, sinusitis and others.
- Various rashes on the face, back skin, chest.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Excessive power loads.
- Long-term stress.
This analysis plays a huge role in the treatment of diseases such as:
- Diseases of the skin.
- Diseases of the digestive system.
- Chronic inflammatory processes.
- Food intolerance.
Studies of microbiocenoses by the GC-MS method are used to assess the reproductive status, in the treatment of infertility or other serious pathologies of the sexual sphere in men and women.
The advantage of the study of GC-MS
- Gas-chromatography mass spectrometry is an accurate and highly sensitive method of analysis.
- The technique is unique in that it detects even “sleeping” pathogens of the disease.
- Within the framework of one analysis, various types of microorganisms that may be participants in inflammatory processes are identified:
58 genera and species of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, fungi and viruses are simultaneously identified (anaerobes are bacteria that live and reproduce in an oxygen—free environment).
Currently, more and more scientific studies lead to the conclusion that the causes of more than 90% of all known human diseases lie in the diseased intestine.
Preparation for the study
- Blood should be given in the morning, on an empty stomach.
- 24 hours before the analysis, you should exclude alcohol and refrain from intense physical exertion.
- 8 hours before taking blood, you should not eat, and also drink only non-carbonated water.
- On the eve of taking the analysis, it is better to have dinner with light, low-fat food.
- 3-4 hours before the analysis, do not smoke, avoid stress and physical exertion.
- Medications (such as antibiotics, probiotics, metabiotics, and antidepressants) and medical procedures may affect the result of the analysis.
- You should not donate blood immediately after physiotherapy procedures, instrumental examination, X-ray and ultrasound examinations, massage.
- It is best to perform a blood test before taking medications or 10-14 days after their cancellation.
- The nurse should be warned about the medications currently being taken, as well as the doctor who performs the diagnosis or prescribes treatment.
The reliability of the study directly depends on following these recommendations.
Contraindications and limitations
There are no absolute contraindications.
The report clearly shows possible surpluses and deficits of indicators.
Additionally, convenient tables of grouped important microorganisms are shown.
Frequently asked questions?
Microbiota is a collection of microorganisms that inhabit the skin and mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, nasal and oral cavities, and organs of the genitourinary system.
The gut microbiota is considered to be the most numerous — it accounts for about 60% of all bacteria colonizing the human body.
The state and composition of the microbiota affects almost all processes taking place in the intestine – absorption of nutrients, inactivation of toxins, and so on. Also, microorganisms can produce peptides or proteins that penetrate into the blood and affect, for example, a person’s appetite.
Beneficial (commensal) bacteria help the immune system cope with pathogenic microorganisms, in some cases suppress inflammatory and allergic reactions.
The main types of beneficial bacteria-commensals:
• E. coli (typical).
Conditionally pathogenic (opportunistic) bacteria are usually harmless to healthy people and are present in small quantities in the body to maintain the diversity of microflora. But if the balance of the intestinal microbiota is disturbed, for example, due to a malfunction of the immune system, then such bacteria multiply rapidly and can cause harm.
Types of conditionally pathogenic microorganisms:
• enterobacteria (escherichia, bacteria of the genus proteus, klebsiella): can cause infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, genitourinary system, liver, biliary tract;
• non-fermenting gram-negative bacteria (pseudomonas, neisseria, legionella): they cause diseases of the urinary tract and organs of the reproductive system, intestines, as well as pneumonia, meningitis, otitis;
• gram-positive cocci (staphylococci, streptococci, enterococci) and anaerobic bacteria: pathogens of purulent-inflammatory diseases;
• fungi: provoke infections of the gastrointestinal tract.
One of the main functions of the microbiota is the synthesis of short—chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the main source of energy for the cells of the intestinal mucosa. Also, SCFCS protect the body from pathogens and toxins, have antitumor and anti-inflammatory effect, stimulate the development of normal microflora, regulate acid-base balance and support the absorption of potassium, magnesium, chlorine, sodium and water.
Other functions of the intestinal microbiota:
• excretion of waste biologically active substances, including enzymes, from the body;
• production of hormones, uric acid, essential amino acids and neuropeptides — biologically active compounds that are involved in metabolism.
The study of microbiota continues. There have been studies that have proven the relationship between intestinal microflora disorders and type II diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.
There is evidence of the interaction of the intestinal microbiota and the nervous system: the microbiota produces neuroactive molecules — acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine — the main mediators of signals in the central nervous system. If the composition of the microbiota is disturbed, then diseases of the central nervous system can progress.
There are receptor proteins for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the stomach, duodenum and rectum. The virus binds to receptors and penetrates into cells. At the same time, inflammation may develop in the intestinal mucosa, against which gastroenterological symptoms often occur: diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome — a violation of nutrient absorption, dysbiosis — a condition in which the intestinal microflora suffers.
The violation of the microbiota persists in the post-ovoid period. Approximately 6% of those who have had dysbiosis are accompanied by bowel movement disorders, emptying of the rectum.
The analysis is carried out using gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) on the equipment of Agilent Technologies (USA). The method is based on the determination of microorganisms by the so-called “microbial markers” – fatty acids that are produced by bacteria in the process of vital activity.
Анализ проводится с использованием газовой хроматографии-масс-спектрометрии (ГХ-МС) на оборудовании «Agilent Technologies» (США). В основе метода лежит определение микроорганизмов по так называемым «микробным маркерам» — жирным кислотам, которые производятся бактериями в процессе жизнедеятельности.