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High stability of faecal microbiome composition in guanidine thiocyanate solution at room temperature and robustness during colonoscopy
  1. Yuichiro Nishimoto1,
  2. Sayaka Mizutani1,
  3. Takeshi Nakajima2,
  4. Fumie Hosoda3,
  5. Hikaru Watanabe1,
  6. Yutaka Saito2,
  7. Tatsuhiro Shibata3,4,
  8. Shinichi Yachida3,
  9. Takuji Yamada1
  1. 1School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Endoscopy Division, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  3. 3Division of Cancer Genomics, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Human Genome Center, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shinichi Yachida, Division of Cancer Genomics, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan; or Dr Takuji Yamada, School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 M6-3, Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan; takuji{at}

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We read with interest the paper by Jalanka et al,1 who examined the influence of bowel preparation on intestinal microbiota by using phylogenetic microarray and quantitative PCR analyses of frozen samples. Conventionally, faecal samples are frozen on dry ice or in a deep-freezer (at −80°C) immediately after collection, as done by Jalanka et al, because bacterial taxa can change appreciably within 15 min at room temperature (RT).2 However, immediate deep-freezing is often inconvenient in routine clinical practice, and we wondered whether simple storage of faecal samples at RT in test tubes containing 4 M guanidine thiocyanate solution would be equally effective. Guanidine thiocyanate is a general protein denaturant3 and inhibits bacterial growth.3–5 We collected faecal samples before and after colonoscopy, and divided each into two parts: one was stored frozen and the other at RT. Taxonomic compositions were determined by 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis, and the results in the two groups were compared. We also examined the stability of faecal microbiome composition, since Jalanka et al found that the intestinal microbiota is changed by whole-bowel irrigation, but …

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