New computational modeling method predicts how gut microbes change over time

A new computational modeling method uses snapshots of which types of microbes are found in a person’s gut to predict how the microbial community will change over time. The tool, developed by Liat Shenhav, Leah Briscoe and Mike Thompson from the Halperin lab, University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues at the Mizrahi lab at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, is presented in PLOS Computational Biology.

New computational modeling method predicts how gut microbes change over time
Credit: sbtlneet/pixabay, CC0

The types and relative amounts of microbes found in a person’s gut can reflect and affect the state of their health. Knowing how this microbial community composition changes over time could provide key insights into health and disease. However, it is unclear to what degree the microbial community composition of a person’s gut at a given moment determines its future composition.

To address this question, Shenhav and colleagues developed Microbial community Temporal Variability Linear Mixed Model (MTV-LMM), a new method for modeling temporal changes in the microbial composition of the gut. When tested against real-world data, the new tool makes more accurate predictions than do other models previously developed for the same purpose.

The researchers then used MTV-LMM to surface new insights into microbiome dynamics. For instance, they demonstrated that, in both infants and adults, gut microbiome community composition can indeed be accurately predicted based on earlier observations of the community. They also applied the model to data from 39 infants and revealed a key shift around the age of 9 months in how the gut microbiome changes over time.

Looking forward, MTV-LMM could be applied to explore temporal dynamics of the gut microbiome in the context of disease, which could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment. It could also be useful for understanding other types of temporal microbiome processes, such as those occurring during digestion.

Our approach provides multiple methodological advancements, but this is still just the tip of the iceberg.”

Liat Shenhav, from the Halperin lab, University of California Los Angeles

In the future, she and her colleagues will work to further improve the prediction accuracy of the model and explore additional applications. “Modeling the temporal behavior of the microbiome is a fundamental scientific question, with potential applications in medicine and beyond.”

Source:
Journal reference:

Shenhav, L. et al. (2019) Modeling the temporal dynamics of the gut microbial community in adults and infants. PLOS Computational Biology. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006960.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    PLOS ONE. (2019, June 28). New computational modeling method predicts how gut microbes change over time. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 31, 2020 from https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190628/New-computational-modeling-method-predicts-how-gut-microbes-change-over-time.aspx.

  • MLA

    PLOS ONE. "New computational modeling method predicts how gut microbes change over time". News-Medical. 31 May 2020. <https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190628/New-computational-modeling-method-predicts-how-gut-microbes-change-over-time.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    PLOS ONE. "New computational modeling method predicts how gut microbes change over time". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190628/New-computational-modeling-method-predicts-how-gut-microbes-change-over-time.aspx. (accessed May 31, 2020).

  • Harvard

    PLOS ONE. 2019. New computational modeling method predicts how gut microbes change over time. News-Medical, viewed 31 May 2020, https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190628/New-computational-modeling-method-predicts-how-gut-microbes-change-over-time.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
You might also like... ×
Many food products sold across Europe fail to meet criteria for marketing to children