Nevin Manimala Statistics

MiCloud: A unified web platform for comprehensive microbiome data analysis

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 1;17(8):e0272354. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272354. eCollection 2022.


The recent advance in massively parallel sequencing has enabled accurate microbiome profiling at a dramatically lowered cost. Then, the human microbiome has been the subject of intensive investigation in public health and medicine. In the meanwhile, researchers have developed lots of microbiome data analysis methods, protocols, and/or tools. Among those, especially, the web platforms can be highlighted because of the user-friendly interfaces and streamlined protocols for a long sequence of analytic procedures. However, existing web platforms can handle only a categorical trait of interest, cross-sectional study design, and the analysis with no covariate adjustment. We therefore introduce here a unified web platform, named MiCloud, for a binary or continuous trait of interest, cross-sectional or longitudinal/family-based study design, and with or without covariate adjustment. MiCloud handles all such types of analyses for both ecological measures (i.e., alpha and beta diversity indices) and microbial taxa in relative abundance on different taxonomic levels (i.e., phylum, class, order, family, genus and species). Importantly, MiCloud also provides a unified analytic protocol that streamlines data inputs, quality controls, data transformations, statistical methods and visualizations with vastly extended utility and flexibility that are suited to microbiome data analysis. We illustrate the use of MiCloud through the United Kingdom twin study on the association between gut microbiome and body mass index adjusting for age. MiCloud can be implemented on either the web server ( or the user’s computer (

PMID:35913976 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0272354

By Nevin Manimala

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