The complex community of bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi in the gut, skin, blood, saliva, etc. is important to ensure good health in humans and animals, and by investing in more research around this, we will be able to understand this complicated interaction better. HUNT One Health is a start, and the plan is to expand this into a research system that can offer material for research on animal health, public health and especially on the complex interaction between humans, animals and the environment. The collected stool samples are a starting point, and other biological samples will be collected in follow-up projects.
With the launch of the research platform for HUNT One Health, sequence data will become available in Hunt Cloud and the associated biological research material will be made available to researchers, following an approved application to the project's DAK (data access committee). Both the Veterinary Institute and the Veterinary College have moved from Adamstua in Oslo to Ås in the beginning of 2021. Under the management of the Veterinary Institute, a national veterinary biobank will be built up in Ås that will include the research material from HUNT One Health. It will also be possible to access the DNA extracted from the samples.
HUNT One Health will use its own application platform for projects that concern animals and applications will be processed by HUNT One Health's data access committee (DAK). As for HUNT4, the starting point is that researchers will have access to research material given that the purpose of a study is in accordance with HUNT One Health and that access is applied for via the procedures established by the project. The access to data and samples from humans must be requested through HUNT which has its own application portal.
You can apply for access to research data via this form. Fill in the data that is requested, and the DAK will follow up. The research platform will be launched in 2021, then you will find information about what data and samples researchers can apply for access to. There will also be information on the cost of access to the material.
The information generated by sequencing will give us a unique opportunity to gain insight into which microbes are present in the samples, whether any of these may impact health, and we will be able to study functional properties of the organisms, for example by checking for genes encoding antibiotic resistance.
In shotgun sequencing, the entire genetic material present in the material is chopped into small pieces and laid out in a random order. This happens several times so that the same areas of the genetic material are covered by pieces of different lengths. The information is then entered into powerful computers that put the pieces in the correct order by looking at overlapping sequences. In this way, we can find out which microbes dominate in each sample, but also more detailed information that should for example be able to predict whether an animal owner is affected by the microbiome of his animals - or vice versa. Thus, we can use the microbiome data for a number of exciting research purposes.
A large number of dog samples and a significant amount of information collected from the respective owners about the dogs' health, feeding, and the environment is immediately available and can provide researchers with interesting material.
In addition to the biological sample material that will be stored in the biobank and the sequence data, information has also been collected from dog owners to look at connections between the composition of the microbial community and the dog's health, age, sex, feeding, activity and area of use. This database and others will be stored at NMBU Veterinary College.
In addition samples were collected from cattle, pigs, sheep and horses but for these species there is only a limited amount of data available for each sample. Further use of this material will require follow-up studies.