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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Benchmarking urine storage and collection conditions for evaluating the female urinary microbiome.

  • Author(s): Jung, Carrie E
  • Chopyk, Jessica
  • Shin, Ji Hyun
  • Lukacz, Emily S
  • Brubaker, Linda
  • Schwanemann, Leila K
  • Knight, Rob
  • Wolfe, Alan J
  • Pride, David T
  • et al.

Standardized conditions for collection, preservation and storage of urine for microbiome research have not been established. We aimed to identify the effects of the use of preservative AssayAssure® (AA), and the effects of storage time and temperatures on reproducibility of urine microbiome results. We sequenced the V3-4 segment of the 16S rRNA gene to characterize the bacterial community in the urine of a cohort of women. Each woman provided a single voided urine sample, which was divided into aliquots and stored with and without AA, at three different temperatures (room temperature [RT], 4 °C, or -20 °C), and for various time periods up to 4 days. There were significant microbiome differences in urine specimens stored with and without AA at all temperatures, but the most significant differences were observed in alpha diversity (estimated number of taxa) at RT. Specimens preserved at 4 °C and -20 °C for up to 4 days with or without AA had no significant alpha diversity differences. However, significant alpha diversity differences were observed in samples stored without AA at RT. Generally, there was greater microbiome preservation with AA than without AA at all time points and temperatures, although not all results were statistically significant. Addition of AA preservative, shorter storage times, and colder temperatures are most favorable for urinary microbiome reproducibility.

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