Microbe-set enrichment analysis facilitates functional interpretation of microbiome profiling data.
ABSTRACT: The commensal microbiome is known to influence a variety of host phenotypes. Microbiome profiling followed by differential abundance analysis has been established as an effective approach to study the mechanisms of host-microbiome interactions. However, it is challenging to interpret the collective functions of the resultant microbe-sets due to the lack of well-organized functional characterization of commensal microbiome. We developed microbe-set enrichment analysis (MSEA) to enable the functional interpretation of microbe-sets by examining the statistical significance of their overlaps with annotated groups of microbes that share common attributes such as biological function or phylogenetic similarity. We then constructed microbe-set libraries by query PubMed to find microbe-mammalian gene associations and disease associations by parsing the Disbiome database. To demonstrate the utility of our novel MSEA methodology, we carried out three case studies using publicly available curated knowledge resource and microbiome profiling datasets focusing on human diseases. We found MSEA not only yields consistent findings with the original studies, but also recovers insights about disease mechanisms that are supported by the literature. Overall, MSEA is a useful knowledge-based computational approach to interpret the functions of microbes, which can be integrated with microbiome profiling pipelines to help reveal the underlying mechanism of host-microbiome interactions.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC7722755 | BioStudies |