Fang, Y., Chia, N., White, B., Schook, L. “Compression-based Distance (CBD): A Simple, Rapid, and Accurate Method for Microbiota Composition Comparison.” BMC Bioinformatics. BMC Bioinformatics, 23 Apr. 2013.

Perturbations in intestinal microbiota composition have been associated with a variety of gastrointestinal tract-related diseases. The alleviation of symptoms has been achieved using treatments that alter the gastrointestinal tract microbiota toward that of healthy individuals. Identifying differences in microbiota composition through the use of 16S rRNA gene hypervariable tag sequencing has profound health implications. Current computational methods for comparing microbial communities are usually based on multiple alignments and phylogenetic inference, making them time consuming and requiring exceptional expertise and computational resources. As sequencing data rapidly grows in size, simpler analysis methods are needed to meet the growing computational burdens of microbiota comparisons. Thus, we have developed a simple, rapid, and accurate method, independent of multiple alignments and phylogenetic inference, to support microbiota comparisons.

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