See why practitioners are choosing Designs for Health, the trusted practitioner brand for innovative products and education. Learn More

The GI-Map Test for Practitioners – Introduction by Dr David Brady

Dr David Brady introduces the GI-Map test, a molecular test that looks for the DNA or the genes of the specific organisms within the microbiome. He discusses how the GI-Map Test results reveal the pathogenic organisms, as well as commensal and opportunistic organisms. And importantly he introduces how the test can guide clinical and treatment protocols.


Video Transcript…

The GI-Map test is a molecular test that looks for the DNA or the genes of the specific organisms that we’re concerned about. We look for the DNA with specific probes of a whole list of pathogenic organisms, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Protozoa
  • Commensal organisms, meaning the beneficial organisms
  • Opportunistic organisms, the ones that are not overt pathogens, but they’re not necessarily overt beneficial organisms

If opportunistic organisms are given the opportunity to overgrow, which happens in many people, they can create problems including this higher incidence of autoimmune disease and so forth.

Genetic Markers of the Microbiome

We’re looking for specific genetic markers or signatures based on the genomes of these organisms. It’s not a snip test or a gene test where people may be used to looking at the genes of the subject or the patient. We’re actually looking at the genetics of the organisms that are residing in their intestinal ecology.

01:11 The GI-Map test is a quantitative PCR or QPCR, sometimes called real-time PCR test, which really differentiates it from some of the, for instance, direct-to-consumer stool tests out there which are next-gen sequencing tests. They’re also looking at genes or DNA, but they’re doing it in a different way that actually doesn’t quantitate the level of DNA that is found. They’re reported more in a percentage of the total DNA. It gets a little bit deep in the weeds, but it doesn’t tell you how much. It just tells you how much of a certain organism is there in relation to the other organisms.

A Diagnostic Test Designed for Clinicians

01:54 The GI-Map Test goes beyond that. It actually measures the amount of DNA catch. We have certain cut-off thresholds, which if it passes a certain threshold that is an indication for clinical treatment. That’s exceedingly important for a diagnostic test meant for clinicians to use to make decisions on patients. Because those other next-gen sequencing tests, like a uBiome, for instance, are never meant to make clinical decisions. Those are research tests. They’re really not meant for that purpose even though they’ve been used for that inappropriately.

02:25 The recommendations on the GI-Map results, which if you’re a registered Designs for Health practitioner for the test, you will also get recommendations on what kind of products you might want to consider using to change what’s going on in the GI microbiota.

We will look at antimicrobial products to lower the amount of certain microbes that we find, either opportunist or pathogens that we might want to eradicate.

Suggestions for Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Leaky Gut Protocols

02:56 We also use probiotics, obviously, to build up the commensal populations. We may use digestive enzymes to help. If there are digestive issues, we may use different formulations to try to treat the intestinal mucosa if there are signs of inflammation or leaky gut. It’s different types of interventions for different findings on the test. It’s very, very specific, and it really follows the functional medicine, what’s called 4R or 5R program of treating functional gut disorders.

GI-Map Test Kit – Ease of Use for Patients

03:30 If I give the patient a GI-Map kit, they take it home, they collect the sample, they send it directly into the lab for analysis. The turnaround time is very rapid with this test and this type of technology compared to other methods.

Treatment Support to Change the Landscape of the Gut Ecology

When we get the test results back, we meet with the patient again, we go over those test results, and we institute treatment.

If they have the type of results where we’re doing treatment and then we might want to re-test again. It’s quite frequent that we’re doing treatment to change the landscape of the gut ecology over about a three to four-week period. We often then leave about a month of what we call a washout period, let things settle back down, and then often we will re-test if we need to. We don’t always re-test. It depends what the original findings were and how important it is that we do re-test.

Source: Live interview with Dr David Brady, December 2018, Sydney Australia

        Designs for Health Australia proudly presented the

Gl-Map Seminar

Learn about the clinical applications and the research behind this new DNA/PCR stool test.

Presented by Dr David Brady, Chief Medical Officer for Diagnostic Solutions Laboratories and Dr Oscar Coetzee, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition and Associate Professor.


•  This in-depth live seminar was recorded and will be available in early 2019 to DFH Registered Practitioners…

GI-Map Event Recordings