N-226. Inter- and Intra- Individual Variation in the Human Gut Microbial Community

M. Hullar1, K. Stepaniants1, F. Li2, C. Atkinson3, J. Lampe1,2;
1Fred Hutchainson Cancer Res. Ctr., Seattle, WA, 2Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, 3Bristol Dent. Sch., Bristol, UNITED KINGDOM.

Inter-individual differences in human intestinal bacteria exist, which may ultimately translate to differences in disease risk. Molecular techniques for the assessment of intestinal bacteria are becoming widely available, but few studies have used such techniques to assess intra-individual variation. We examined the microbial community composition within and between individuals using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (tRFLP). Ten healthy volunteers (5 male and 5 female) provided 4 fresh fecal samples over a 12 week period. Fresh fecal samples were placed in RNAlater and immediately frozen at -80 ºC until further analysis. Genomic DNA was extracted and the16S rRNA gene was amplified using primers 27F-FAM and 1492R. DNA was digested with ALU I and analyzed by tRFLP. Analyses of tRFLP patterns (n=117) using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) explained 85% of the variation in the data. Many individuals had unique fingerprints which were maintained over the 12 week period. ANOVA of axis 1 loadings from the NMS analysis showed that tRFLP patterns were more variable between individuals than within individuals. The information generated by this study will be used to estimate sample sizes needed to quantify differences in gut microbiota for population-based studies and dietary intervention studies.