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Title: A Bayesian joint model for microbiome data Authors:  Matthew Koslovsky - Colorado State University (United States) [presenting]
Abstract: One of the major research questions regarding human microbiome studies is the feasibility of designing interventions that modulate the composition of the microbiome to promote health and cure disease. This requires an extensive understanding of the modulating factors of the microbiome, such as dietary intake, as well as the relationship between microbial composition and phenotypic outcomes, such as body mass index (BMI). Previous efforts have modeled these data separately, employing two-step approaches that can produce biased interpretations of the results. We present a Bayesian joint model that simultaneously identifies clinical covariates associated with microbial composition data and predicts a phenotypic response using information contained in the compositional data. We apply our model to understand the relations between dietary intake, microbial samples, and BMI. In this analysis, we find numerous associations between microbial taxa and dietary factors that may lead to a microbiome that is generally more hospitable to the development of chronic diseases, such as obesity.