MICHELINdb: a web-based tool for mining of helminth-microbiota interaction datasets, and a meta-analysis of current research

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Scotti, Riccardo 
Southern, Stuart 
Boinett, Christine 
Jenkins, Timothy P. 
Cortés, Alba 

Abstract: Background: The complex network of interactions occurring between gastrointestinal (GI) and extra-intestinal (EI) parasitic helminths of humans and animals and the resident gut microbial flora is attracting increasing attention from biomedical researchers, because of the likely implications for the pathophysiology of helminth infection and disease. Nevertheless, the vast heterogeneity of study designs and microbial community profiling strategies, and of bioinformatic and biostatistical approaches for analyses of metagenomic sequence datasets hinder the identification of bacterial targets for follow-up experimental investigations of helminth-microbiota cross-talk. Furthermore, comparative analyses of published datasets are made difficult by the unavailability of a unique repository for metagenomic sequence data and associated metadata linked to studies aimed to explore potential changes in the composition of the vertebrate gut microbiota in response to GI and/or EI helminth infections. Results: Here, we undertake a meta-analysis of available metagenomic sequence data linked to published studies on helminth-microbiota cross-talk in humans and veterinary species using a single bioinformatic pipeline, and introduce the 'MICrobiome HELminth INteractions database' (MICHELINdb), an online resource for mining of published sequence datasets, and corresponding metadata, generated in these investigations. Conclusions: By increasing data accessibility, we aim to provide the scientific community with a platform to identify gut microbial populations with potential roles in the pathophysiology of helminth disease and parasite-mediated suppression of host inflammatory responses, and facilitate the design of experiments aimed to disentangle the cause(s) and effect(s) of helminth-microbiota relationships. Video abstract.

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BioMed Central
Isaac Newton Trust (GB) (N/A)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (N/A)
University of Cambridge (N/A)
Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero (N/A)