Welcome to the MicroBiome Quality Control (MBQC) project. The human microbiome has the potential to become one of the most important new tools for personalized health and precision medicine. In order to transition from a basic research environment to the clinic, technologies and computational methods for assessing human-associated microbial communities must be standardized and quality controlled. Inspired by progress in related areas such as the gene expression microarray (MAQC), the MBQC is a collaborative effort to comprehensively evaluate methods for measuring the human microbiome. This includes tools for sampling human-associated microbes at different body sites, techniques and protocols for handling human microbiome samples, and computational pipelines for microbiome data processing. We hope to improve the state-of-the-art in each of these areas and promote open sharing of standard operating procedures and best practices throughout the field. Everyone is welcome to participate in the MBQC.
The MBQC Baseline study (MBQC-base) has performed a first evaluation of two of the several steps typically used to obtain and analyze the human microbiome. The baseline assessment included contributions from 16 sample handling laboratories and 9 bioinformatics laboratories, in addition to several additional groups participating in data analysis and manuscript preparation - all on a much-appreciated volunteer basis! The resulting baseline data include raw sequences, sequence data re-blinded prior to bioinformatics processing, raw OTU tables, and the final integrated data products. For information on the preprint manuscript currently in review, please contact us.