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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

WOJNO, J M; DU TOIT, E; DEFFUR, A  and  BRINK, A. Statement on analysis and interpretation of clinical human gastrointestinal microbiome testing using next-generation sequencing in South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2021, vol.111, n.3, pp.203-205. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2021.v111i3.15336.

Advances in DNA sequencing technologies and computational tools over the past few years have led to vast improvements in the metagenomic analysis of the human microbiota. While this has also significantly improved our understanding of the role of the host-microbiome interaction in health and disease, the current clinical expectation is that testing, particularly of the gastrointestinal biome, can be used to diagnose, manage and treat patients. The authors outline the available technologies and highlight current limitations of these techniques to address this clinical demand. Through understanding the limitations of and need for more research and data collection, one can improve the appropriate utilisation and interpretation, as well as the current rational clinical application of these techniques.

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