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In American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology

Despite the availability of various diagnostic tests for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), misdiagnosis of IBD occurs frequently, and thus there is a clinical need to further improve the diagnosis of IBD. As gut dysbiosis is reported in IBD patients, we hypothesized that supervised machine learning (ML) could be used to analyze gut microbiome data for predictive diagnostics of IBD. To test our hypothesis, fecal 16S metagenomic data of 729 IBD and 700 non-IBD subjects from the American Gut Project were analyzed using five different ML algorithms. Fifty differential bacterial taxa were identified (LEfSe: LDA > 3) between the IBD and non-IBD groups, and ML classifications trained with these taxonomic features using random forest (RF) achieved a testing AUC of ~0.80. Next, we tested if operational taxonomic units (OTUs), instead of bacterial taxa, could be used as ML features for diagnostic classification of IBD. Top 500 high-variance OTUs were used for ML training and an improved testing AUC of ~0.82 (RF) was achieved. Lastly, we tested if supervised ML could be used for differentiating Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Using 331 CD and 141 UC samples, 117 differential bacterial taxa (LEfSe: LDA > 3) were identified, and the RF model trained with differential taxonomic features or high-variance OTU features achieved a testing AUC > 0.90. In summary, our study demonstrates the promising potential of artificial intelligence via supervised ML modeling for predictive diagnostics of IBD using gut microbiome data.

Manandhar Ishan, Alimadadi Ahmad, Aryal Sachin, Munroe Patricia B, Joe Bina, Cheng Xi


artificial intelligence, diagnosis, gut microbiome, inflammatory bowel disease, machine learning