The relationship of the gastrointestinal microbiome to health and disease is of major research interest, including the effects of the gut microbiota on age related conditions. Here we report on the outcome of a project to collect stool samples on a large number of community dwelling elderly men using the OMNIgene-GUT stool/feces collection kit (OMR-200, DNA Genotek, Ottawa, Canada). Among 1328 men who were eligible for stool collection, 982 (74%) agreed to participate and 951 submitted samples. The collection process was reported to be acceptable, almost all samples obtained were adequate, the process of sample handling by mail was uniformly successful. The DNA obtained provided excellent results in microbiome analyses, yielding an abundance of species and a diversity of taxa as would be predicted. Our results suggest that population studies of older participants involving remote stool sample collection are feasible. These approaches would allow large scale research projects of the association of the gut microbiota with important clinical outcomes.
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