Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GEMMA (Genome, Environment, Microbiome & Metabolome in Autism: an integrated multi-omic systems biology approach to identify biomarkers for personalized treatment and primary prevention of Autism Spectr)
Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-12-31
Contextually, sample collection protocols suggested for specimen processing pointed at ensuring both the use of the best practices in each -omic field and the reliability required in an integrated multi-omic approach. The biobank set up will ensure a strict compliance with appropriate European and international ethical standards. Consortium additionally have implemented a dedicated protocol to drive the process to collect information on exploitable foreground among partners, intended to acquire and process data that support the identification of exploitable foreground and their potential application. In parallel, tools for microbiome, genome, epigenome, and metabolome profile analysis were tested: SWs provide a platform for dynamic data analysis and interpretation, and will be essential to support the overall prognostic and diagnostic process.
Pre-clinical trials will consist in Fecal Microbiota Transplantation from human autistic children to germ-free mice. To this end, stools were collected from ASD children with GI symptoms and without GI symptoms, and their respective siblings that will be used as controls. Experiments will represent an essential tool to support diagnosis and provide preliminary data for interventional trials. To this aim, the process of selection of candidate probiotics microorganisms also started.
In addition, activities were focused on project dissemination strategies to reach out to potential users. The project website (gemma-project.eu) together with profiles on social media platforms were released to communicate the project, news and events and disseminate the results to all society. Due to the topic of the project regarding a neuro developmental disorder that involves many children and their families, the communication has been based on the “emotional” and the “inclusion” aspects by the development of an accessible website."