Identifying which taxa are targeted by immunoglobulins can uncover important host-microbe interactions. Immunoglobulin binding of commensal taxa can be assayed by sorting bound bacteria from samples and using amplicon sequencing to determine their taxonomy, a technique most widely applied to study Immunoglobulin A (IgA-Seq). Previous experiments have scored taxon binding in IgA-Seq datasets by comparing abundances in the IgA bound and unbound sorted fractions. However, as these are relative abundances, such scores are influenced by the levels of the other taxa present and represent an abstract combination of these effects. Diversity in the practical approaches of prior studies also warrants benchmarking of the individual stages involved. Here, we provide a detailed description of the design strategy for an optimised IgA-Seq protocol. Combined with a novel scoring method for IgA-Seq datasets that accounts for the aforementioned effects, this platform enables accurate identification and quantification of commensal gut microbiota targeted by host immunoglobulins.
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