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Where is my Onegevity Gutbio report?

Bodi Zhang, MD, PhD, MPH

Waiting four weeks for your Gutbio results can be frustrating, and you might be wondering why it takes so long. Gutbio performs advanced, next-generation metagenomic sequencing on your sample, which is quite complex. And each step requires precise record-keeping, tracking, scrupulous data control, and deployment of the latest sequencing technology paired with in-depth bioinformatics analysis.

We’re sharing this process with you so you can understand the rigorous efforts Onegevity takes to ensure your sample and data are safe, accurate, and reliable.

Step 1: You’ve received your test kit, activated your test kit, collected your sample, and dropped it in the U.S. mail.

After you do this, your sample is shipped to our CLIA/CAP-certified lab, which receives hundreds of samples per day. To keep track of your sample, the lab scans the barcode on every vial received and assures that each vial matches our records on a deidentified bias; i.e., that the specific barcode sent out is the same barcode we receive back. Although the lab scans your barcode, it does not receive any of your personal information – not your name, location, or age – thus maintaining the highest possible compliance with the federal law (HIPAA) that protects the privacy of protected health information.

Step 2: DNA extraction.

After your sample is properly labeled and recorded for internal tracking throughout the lab, the lab technicians extract your DNA from the stool sample. Strictly measured chemicals and reagents, as well as specific equipment, are necessary for this part of the process, and trained lab technicians practice great precision in this crucial step. The extracted DNA is then reconstituted to build a sequencing library.

How do you build a sequencing library?

To construct the sequencing library, the lab technicians take the extracted DNA and transfect it back into a commercially available DNA library, which is used for sequencing. The lab uses the most advanced Illumina sequencers in the industry. This process can take as long as two weeks, depending on the volume of samples received in the lab. We batch samples to maintain the highest standards of accuracy and reliability by controlling for every factor:  who is working on the samples, which equipment is being used, the what processes are being performed each step of the way.

Step 3: Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) check.

After sequencing is complete, the lab QA/QC director steps in. This person is responsible for examining your raw data against the various controls and negatives we run in each sequence to confirm you’re your sequencing was completed properly. Once quality assurance and quality control are complete, your raw data – nearly six gigabytes of data per person – is uploaded and stored safely in Onegevity’s server.

Step 4: A second quality check.

Our bioinformaticians then perform a second round of quality assurance on your uploaded data. After confirming that your data meets the highest quality specifications, the Onegevity team moves the data to the advanced processing pipeline to begin functional analysis.

Step 5: Your report is made!

With testing quality confirmed (twice!), our supercomputing system analyzes data under Onegevity’s proprietary Metagenomic+ data processing system, which takes about 48 hours. The raw data is turned into meaningful insights, and all known bacterial species that have been identified are matched to the DNA fragments detected during sequencing. Although there are still a lot of “unknowns” in your sample, the amount is decreasing by the month as new research is reported.

Your data is then analyzed to identify gene clusters that are related to inflammation, constipation, or diarrhea-related pathways. Our bioinformaticians pair the data analysis with meaningful insights through research-backed clinical data linked directly to the bacterial composition of your gut microbiome.

Now that you are aware of the extensive and comprehensive analyses your sample goes through, you might next be wondering what you can do while you wait for your Gutbio report.

If you are a health-care practitioner working with a patient who is waiting for their report, then we suggest you listen to Dr. Bob Rountree discuss how he starts a patient on a gut health program. He mentions additional evaluations you can consider and dietary and supplement options based on specific symptoms and goals. 

If you are waiting on your own for your report, then we suggest you keep reading the Onegevity Journal for tips, research, and education for success.