The purpose of this review is to provide medical researchers, especially those without a bioinformatics background, with an easy-to-understand summary of the concepts and technologies used in microbiome research. First, we define primary concepts such as microbiota, microbiome, and metagenome. Then, we discuss study design schemes, the methods of sample size calculation, and the methods for improving the reliability of research. We emphasize the importance of negative and positive controls in this section. Next, we discuss statistical analysis methods used in microbiome research, focusing on problems with multiple comparisons and ways to compare β-diversity between groups. Finally, we provide step-by-step pipelines for bioinformatics analysis. In summary, the meticulous study design is a key step to obtaining meaningful results, and appropriate statistical methods are important for accurate interpretation of microbiome data. The step-by-step pipelines provide researchers with insights into newly developed bioinformatics analysis methods.

References

PubMed