Faecal Microbial Analysis (FMA) Test

The FMA test analyses the gut microbiota using classical culture, and most up-to-date identification techniques. Many scientists (including clinical microbiologists) regard this technique as the ‘Gold Standard’ for microbiological testing (The Rebirth of Culture in Microbiology through the Example of Culturomics To Study Human Gut Microbiota, J-C. Lagier et al, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 2015, 28,1, 237-264).

The FMA Test is a comprehensive analysis of the gut microbiota from the large intestinal tract. Bioscreen cultures, quantifies and identifies these bacteria. These organisms include organisms that can grow in the presence of air (aerobic bacteria, yeasts) such as coliforms, Enterococcus, and Streptococcus spp and organisms that cannot grow in the presence of air (anaerobic bacteria) such as Bacteroides, Eubacterium, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Clostridium. We also culture yeasts such as Candida, Saccharomyces spp.

Bioscreen identifies all gut bacteria by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry technique. MALDI-TOF is an acronym for Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight spectrometry. The MALDI-TOF is a state of the art analyser where bacteria are vaporized using a laser beam to produce a cloud of peptide molecules (small protein molecules). These peptides are separated in the spectrometer to produce a spectrum of different size peptides or a ‘Peptide Fingerprint’. The peptide fingerprint that is characteristic of each bacterium. MALDI-TOF spectrometry is reliable and can identify many thousands of distinct bacterial species.

Routine stool examination as performed in other and mainstream pathology laboratories is focussed on isolating enteric pathogens. Bioscreen testing, by way of contrast, provide quantitative data on commensal gut bacteria, but not enteric pathogens like food poisoning organism.

A comprehensive report is produced detailing the microbiology of your faecal sample. The report will allow your practitioner to give advice on how a change of the gut microbiota, if identified by the test, may be corrected. This advice can include modification to your diet, a diet specifically targeted for your gut microbiota, the use of probiotics and in some cases specialised antimicrobial herbs or antibiotic therapy. Bioscreen does not give therapeutic advice directly to patients. Scientists from Bioscreen are always available to give advice to the healthcare practitioner who, for medicolegal requirements, must always take responsibility for patient's care.

Instruction Sheets

Instruction Sheet for FMA Sample Collection in Australia

Instruction Sheet for FMA Sample Collection in New Zealand


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