To identify new biomarkers that may serve as disease indicators and to understand biologically relevant properties of the human gut microbiome, we need validated analytical measurements that accurately describe various properties of these complex microbial ecosystems, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The most common measurements currently being used to describe these complex microbial communities are:
In either case, no fit-for-purpose standards exist that enable researchers to compare results generated across different laboratories and to assess the impact of the multitude of methodological variables that exist in either measurement platform. Here we propose to develop a candidate Human Gut Microbiome (Whole Stool) Reference Material that is demonstrated to be homogeneous and stable with respect to the microbial taxa (DNA) and key metabolites. This same material will ultimately be value assigned for both the identification and mass fraction content (as appropriate) for a panel of clinically-relevant metabolites and/or nutritional assessment metabolic markers.