South African citizens now have the opportunity to contribute to science (conducted by South Africans for South Africans).

The South African Microbiome Initiative in Neuroscience is a unique research project that aims to delve into the complex connections between the brain and the gut, by recruiting South African participants on a large scale and correlating their gut microbial compositions to health, cognitive and psychiatric data. Not only does this enable participants to contribute directly to science, but they also have the opportunity to learn more about their gut microbiota and how the gut microbiota influences health and disease.

No need to worry about confidentiality, all participant information will be de-identified and kept confidential. If you are interested in participating in this exciting SA-first research, please click on the Register To Participate button below.

Below is a basic outline of the steps that you will follow when participating in the saNeuroGut study:

How will your data be processed?

  1. We will extract data from the answers you supplied in the online questionnaire. (If some of your answers indicate that you might show signs of anxiety, depression or PTSD, we will encourage you to seek further assessment from a health care professional.)
  2. Bacterial DNA will be extracted from your stool sample and the DNA will be sequenced in order for us to identify which bacteria are present in your stool sample.
  3. Your own DNA will be extracted from your saliva sample and areas of interest will be sequenced.
  4. The gut microbiota data and your genetic data is analysed together with the questionnaire data in order to see which factors (such as genetics, diet, stress, sleep, disease etc.) are associated with your particular gut microbiota make-up.
  5. Some of the data generated during this study will be presented in scientific publications (scientific journals) and at scientific conferences in order to share our interesting findings with the scientific community. The findings will also be communicated to the study participants during formal feedback sessions, where the overall findings will be presented (not individually, per participant). Lastly, we will relay our findings to the general public through different media platforms.

To thank you for your participation, we will enter you into a lucky draw where you stand to win a cash prize of R 1000.00. In order to be eligible for the draw, you need to have sent your completed Sample Collection Kit back to us. Draws will be done every three months for the duration of the study. The next draw is scheduled to take place on 2 January, 2021.