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Several studies have focused on the microbiota living in environmental niches including human body sites. In many of these studies, researchers collect longitudinal data with the goal of understanding not only just the composition of the microbiome but also the interactions between the different taxa. However, analysis of such data is challenging and very few methods have been developed to reconstruct dynamic models from time series microbiome data.


Here, we present a computational pipeline that enables the integration of data across individuals for the reconstruction of such models. Our pipeline starts by aligning the data collected for all individuals. The aligned profiles are then used to learn a dynamic Bayesian network which represents causal relationships between taxa and clinical variables. Testing our methods on three longitudinal microbiome data sets we show that our pipeline improve upon prior methods developed for this task. We also discuss the biological insights provided by the models which include several known and novel interactions. The extended CGBayesNets package is freely available under the MIT Open Source license agreement. The source code and documentation can be downloaded from


We propose a computational pipeline for analyzing longitudinal microbiome data. Our results provide evidence that microbiome alignments coupled with dynamic Bayesian networks improve predictive performance over previous methods and enhance our ability to infer biological relationships within the microbiome and between taxa and clinical factors.


Originally published in Microbiome.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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