How it works | Viome South Africa

The Science
Behind Viome

The science behind Viome

Meet your invisible army. In the ongoing fight against chronic disease, scientists have begun to turn to an army of unexpected allies – bacteria and other microorganisms.

New technologies used by microbiologists to study tiny organisms – bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and more – have quietly ushered in a new era of medicine and a new understanding of the forces at work within our bodies.


A person’s microbiome is the entire collection of microbes living in and on the body. The microbiome forms a living layer over your skin and parts of the inside of your body, including the lungs and the digestive tract, from the mouth all the way down to the colon.

When the microbes in your gut are out of balance, your body can't absorb nutrients the way it should. The result of this is inflammation, the root of almost every chronic disease

Your recommendations are backed by science and unique to you


Viome's metatranscriptomic sequencing technology

Viome’s technology captures everything that is happening in the gut microbiome – the key word here is happening.

Our metatranscriptomic sequencing technology allows us to see every microorganism in your gut microbiome and analyse the activity of these microorganisms. Originally, it took 15 years to sequence the human genome. We are now sequencing AND analysing your gut microbiome – which includes identifying trillions of active microbes, and their pathways, and functions – in just a few weeks!

More on Gut Microbiome Biochemistry

Every living organism produces RNA molecules from their DNA. By sequencing all of the RNA in the samples we receive, we can identify and quantify all of the living microorganisms in the gut (bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast, parasites, and more) at the species and strain level. The end result? A higher resolution view of your gut microbiome than has ever been available before.

While identifying the microorganisms in the gut is important, we gain the most insight when we can also understand their function. To maintain health, our bodies require many biochemicals produced by the gut microbiome. Some well-known examples are vitamin K, B vitamins, and short-chain fatty acids (for example butyrate). The microbes can also produce harmful biochemicals, such as LPS. Many microbes are capable of making both good and bad biochemicals. The biochemical output depends on the food we eat and the interactions among the hundreds of species of microorganisms.

By analysing the genes that microbes express, we can identify which metabolites they produce – in other words, we can determine their role in your body’s ecosystem. By following Viome’s diet and lifestyle recommendations, a person can fine-tune the function of their gut microbiome to minimise production of harmful metabolites and maximise the production of beneficial ones

Here are some of the amazing things we can see with metatranscriptomic technology:

If your microbiome is not able to process nutrients in foods like spinach, beets, and almonds.

If your microbes are not able to digest the amount of protein you are eating.

If some of those healthy antioxidants you’re eating aren’t really benefiting you.

If you’re eating too much iron and promoting the growth of potential pathogens like Shigella and Salmonella.

Viome’s artificial intelligence

Through artificial intelligence, we are able to discover what foods and supplements are ideal for you and your gut microbiome – so you can experience optimal health.

Our artificial intelligence engine runs multiple analyses of your data across our massive database of information. Carefully selected high-quality peer-reviewed scientific literature, expert knowledge from our team of scientists, biological testing, and customer feedback educate and train Vie – our AI machine.

More on Viome’s Artificial Intelligence

We meticulously collect this information and use it to educate Vie – this is called knowledge representation and machine learning in the world of AI. Vie helps us sort through mountains of data to find correlations among microorganisms, their functions, and external issues that people face. With the help of Vie we can understand your microbiome tests with greater accuracy and speed. Vie is able to algorithmically process massive data sets and discover patterns through statistics, decision analytics, logic, and other mathematical techniques.

This process is an ongoing loop where we train Vie and incorporate the resulting outcomes to our ongoing improvements and discovery, constantly refining every step of the way.

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What is the difference between Viome and other gut microbiome companies?

The table below compares Viome's technology with the technology most commonly used by other microbiome testing companies today.

16S Sequencing

  • Identifies only a fraction of your gut bacteria; unable to identify nonbacterial microorganisms
  • Sequences DNA, which can come from food and dead microorganisms
  • Low resolution (mostly genus and lower resolution)
  • Unreliable; sequencing the same sample twice can yield very different results
  • Does not measure microbial gene functions
  • Does not assess what the microbes are doing.
    Low resolution and lack of gene expression data preclude actionable recommendations

Metagenomic Analysis

  • Cannot identify any RNA viruses or RNA bacteriophages
  • Sequences DNA, which can come from food and dead microorganisms
  • High resolution (species and strain level), but does not include RNA viruses
  • Minimal variation in results, but partially biased analysis (no RNA viruses)
  • Does not measure microbial gene functions
  • Does not assess what the microbes are doing.
    Lack of gene expression data preclude actionable recommendations

Viome Metatranscriptome Sequencing

  • Identifies all microorganisms living in your gut: bacteria, viruses, archaea, yeast, fungi, parasites and bacteriophages
  • Sequences RNA, which comes from live microorganisms that have great impact on our health
  • High resolution (species and strain level) of all microorganisms
  • Minimal variation in results and unbiased analysis
  • Quantifies expression levels of active microbial gene functions
  • Allows assessment of pathway activities that can lead to personalised health insights and recommendations with molecular-level precision based on what the microbes are doing

Feel the difference.

Order Viome's Gut Intelligence test kit today and have it delivered right to your home!

Have questions?

Reach out to us at

or contact us directly on 011 697 2900.

Only R6 900