Dr. Laura Judith Marcos Zambrano
IMDEA Research Institute on Food and Health Sciences
Gut Microbiome Data Analysis: from 16S Gene Sequencing to Complete Metagenomes
"There is an intimate relationship between the gut microbiome and the epithelial cells of the gut; disruptions in the balance of this relationship (dysbiosis) are linked with several diseases, including cancer and immune-metabolic disorders. The gut microbiome comprises the genome of all the microorganisms that inhabit the gut. It plays a crucial role in the body's nutritional, metabolic, physiological and immunological processes. It also produces several metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), branched-chain amino acids, vitamins, and hormones that affect several metabolic and inflammatory pathways. Therefore shifts in host-microbiome interactions have a clinical impact on health, especially in metabolic and immunological diseases. In the past decade, there has been significant progress using genomic sequencing and computational pipelines to interpret the human gut microbiome, mainly by using 16S rRNA sequencing and shotgun metagenomics. Both tools have advantages and limitations and are the cornerstone for interpreting microbiome state and its relationship with disease. However, interpreting and discussing gut microbiome results can be challenging, especially with a lack of standard parameters and reference data. We will discuss the current evidence in host-microbiome interactions and develop a hands-on session to analyze and visualize microbiome data considering compositionality. "