The 10,000 Families Study (10KFS) is a family-based prospective cohort study, the goal of which is to collect information about health-related outcomes, including cancer, in multigeneration families. Since 2017, we have been conducting a pilot feasibility study to prepare for the implementation of 10KFS. At baseline, eligible participants answer a questionnaire about demographics and lifestyle factors and attend a health fair during which trained staff measure their blood pressure, vision, hearing, and several other characteristics, as well as collect blood, urine, and saliva. Also, during the heath fair participants receive easy-to-use kits that enable them to collect stool samples in the convenience of their home. The method for stool collection to characterize gut microbiome in this study was chosen based on a small pilot of three methods: (1) Omnigene Gut (DNA Genotek), (2) iSWAB-Microbiome Collection Kit (Mawi Corporation), and (3) a homemade kit including a BD culture swab and vial with RNAlater preservative. The second method (iSWAB) was unanimously chosen by the volunteers as most acceptable due to the ease of stool collection. The acceptability and reduction of the participant’s burden are of primary importance in this study, since an adult participant often collects stool samples from one or more of their children. The quality of DNA assessed by spectrophotometry (based on 260/280 and 260/230 ratios) was similar for the iSWAB and the Omnigene kits (gold standard), and the quantity using the iSWAB kit was sufficient to characterize gut microbiome. Thus, in our study, stool samples are collected by participants using iSWAB kits and then returned by mail within four days of collection to the central laboratory biorepository at the University of Minnesota – Advanced Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, where they are immediately frozen and stored at -80°C. To date, stool samples from 62 participants aged 0 to over 90 years have been returned (out of 139 kits that were given to participants). This collection method meets the requirements necessary for stool collection in large population studies: (1) it is fast and easy for participants to use; (2) a preservative in the tube allows stool samples to be kept without freezing for up to 8 weeks while maintaining intact and viable bacteria; (3) samples use little space during shipment and storage; and (4) the method is cost efficient.
Citation Format: Anna Prizment, Deanna Gabrielson, DeAnn Lazovich, Sharon Minnerath, Heather H. Nelson, Jenny N. Poynter, Cavan Reilly, Michelle Roesler, Logan G. Spector, Bharat Thyagarajan. Collecting gut microbiome in the 10,000 Families Study [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference on Modernizing Population Sciences in the Digital Age; 2019 Feb 19-22; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(9 Suppl):Abstract nr A25.