A new widely applicable method for investigating the activity of our microbiome in the gut is shown. By coupling known O-glycan epitopes to a cleavable linker attached to magnetic beads, we hope to decipher the activity of microbes in our gut in different contexts. Through use of isotopes and advanced mass spectrometry methods, quantitative analysis of degraded O-glycan epitopes can be achieved.
Using this data, we aim to investigate issues that arise from a disturbed microbiome (for instance inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)) and study the dependency of commensal and pathogenic bacteria to our gut and other microbiota. This information could prove useful when analyzing a patient experiencing symptoms in the gut.