For throughput screening of infant gut microbiota

Genetic Analysis has launched GA-map microarray test for high throughput screening of infant gut microbiota. The company presented data from evaluation screens that show its potential as a tool for probing the mechanisms of disease in conditions associated with the gut flora at the recent Sackler Colloquium on Microbes and Health in the US.

Reportedly, many diseases are thought to be linked to an imbalance in the microbial profile of the gut. The newly developed proprietary GA-map technology is based on sets of unique probes that are highly specific to their target groups of bacteria.

Genetic Analysis is thereby taking a different approach than the more common in-depth analysis of a few samples. The GA-map microarray allows a large number more than 200 samples to be processed per day. This allows routine and population based analysis not possible with alternative techniques.

The company claims that in the evaluation screen, a team led by professor Knut Rudi of Genetic Analysis used the GA-map microarray to model the abundance of gut bacteria in stool samples from infants between one day and two years old.

Morten Isaksen, CEO of Genetic Analysis said: “We envisage GA-map as a platform technology that opens up a black box, where it can be seen an overall map of the gut microbiota, which can then point you in different directions depending on the disease being studied.

“GA-map can also be used for monitoring ongoing changes in the patterns of a child’s microbiota that lead to diseases such as allergies, NEC and autism. This information can then be used to assist in disease intervention.

“Looking further ahead, the technology could be used to develop intelligent treatments based on personalised medicine. The different food or drugs are metabolised can be affected by the gut microbiota. Therefore, the GA-map technology could also become important for the food and pharmaceutical industry.”