Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Ion Mandoiu; Yanjiao Zhou; Jinbo Bi

Honors Major

Computer Science

Disciplines

Bioinformatics | Biology | Biotechnology | Computational Biology | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology

Abstract

The mycobiome is the fungal component of the gut microbiome and is implicated in several autoimmune diseases. However, its role in multiple sclerosis (MS) has not been studied. We performed descriptive and formal statistical tests using the R language to characterize the gut mycobiome in people with MS (pwMS) and healthy controls. We found that the microbiome composition of multiple sclerosis patients is different from healthy people. The mycobiome had significantly higher alpha diversity and inter-subject variation in pwMS than controls. Additionally, Saccharomyces and Aspergillus were over-represented in pwMS. Different mycobiome profiles, defined as mycotypes, were associated with different bacterial abundances. Computer-based analysis of vast sequencing data will continue improving our understanding of the complicated microbiome community and their interactions with the host.

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