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Publications in peer reviewed journals

1 Publication found
  • Learning From Limited Data: Towards Best Practice Techniques for Antimicrobial Resistance Prediction From Whole Genome Sequencing Data.

    Lüftinger L, Májek P, Beisken S, Rattei T, Posch AE
    2021 - Front Cell Infect Microbiol, 610348


    Antimicrobial resistance prediction from whole genome sequencing data (WGS) is an emerging application of machine learning, promising to improve antimicrobial resistance surveillance and outbreak monitoring. Despite significant reductions in sequencing cost, the availability and sampling diversity of WGS data with matched antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) profiles required for training of WGS-AST prediction models remains limited. Best practice machine learning techniques are required to ensure trained models generalize to independent data for optimal predictive performance. Limited data restricts the choice of machine learning training and evaluation methods and can result in overestimation of model performance. We demonstrate that the widely used random k-fold cross-validation method is ill-suited for application to small bacterial genomics datasets and offer an alternative cross-validation method based on genomic distance. We benchmarked three machine learning architectures previously applied to the WGS-AST problem on a set of 8,704 genome assemblies from five clinically relevant pathogens across 77 species-compound combinations collated from public databases. We show that individual models can be effectively ensembled to improve model performance. By combining models stacked generalization with cross-validation, a model ensembling technique suitable for small datasets, we improved average sensitivity and specificity of individual models by 1.77% and 3.20%, respectively. Furthermore, stacked models exhibited improved robustness and were thus less prone to outlier performance drops than individual component models. In this study, we highlight best practice techniques for antimicrobial resistance prediction from WGS data and introduce the combination of genome distance aware cross-validation and stacked generalization for robust and accurate WGS-AST.

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