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Una caja de herramientas nueva que funciona con IA proporciona conocimientos sobre los patógenos infecciosos

By Labmedica en español staff writers
12 Mar 2019

Imagen: La plataforma Respuesta del Huésped al Análisis Microbiano se puede adaptar a diferentes patógenos, incluida la Salmonella enterica (Fotografía cortesía de Wikipedia).Los científicos del Instituto Francis Crick (Londres, Inglaterra) y el UCL (Londres, Inglaterra) desarrollaron una nueva plataforma que funciona usando la IA y que puede analizar cómo los patógenos infectan a las células de los humanos (‘huésped’) con la precisión de un biólogo entrenado.

La plataforma llamada HRMAn (‘Herman’), que significa Respuesta del Huésped al Análisis Microbiano, es de código abierto, fácil de usar y se puede adaptar a diferentes patógenos, incluida la Salmonella enterica. HRMAn utiliza redes neuronales profundas para analizar patrones complejos en imágenes de interacciones de los patógenos y de las células humanas, extrayendo las mismas características detalladas que los científicos hacen a mano.

Los investigadores utilizaron HRMAn para analizar la respuesta del cuerpo a Toxoplasma gondii, un parásito que se replica en los gatos y del que se cree que más de un tercio de la población mundial son portadores. Los investigadores en la instalación de Detección de Alto Rendimiento de Crick, recolectaron más de 30.000 imágenes de microscopio de cinco tipos diferentes de células humanas infectadas con Toxoplasma y las cargaron en HRMAn para su análisis. HRMAn detectó y analizó más de 175.000 compartimentos celulares que contienen patógenos, brindando información detallada sobre el número de parásitos por célula, la ubicación de los parásitos dentro de las células y la cantidad de proteínas celulares que interactúan con los parásitos, entre otras variables. El equipo también utilizó HRMAn para analizar Salmonella enterica, un patógeno bacteriano 16 veces más pequeño que el Toxoplasma, lo que demuestra su versatilidad para estudiar diferentes patógenos.

“Lo que solía ser una tarea manual y que requiere mucho tiempo para los biólogos ahora nos lleva unos minutos en una computadora, permitiéndonos aprender más sobre los patógenos infecciosos y cómo nuestros cuerpos responden a ellos de manera más rápida y precisa”, dijo Eva Frickel, líder de grupo en Crick, quien dirigió el proyecto. “HRMAn en realidad puede ver las interacciones huésped-patógeno como un biólogo, pero a diferencia de nosotros, ¡no se cansa ni necesita dormir!”

“Al utilizar el mismo tipo de algoritmos usados por los autos de conducción automática, hemos creado una plataforma que aumenta la precisión del análisis de datos biológicos de alto volumen, que ha revolucionado lo que podemos hacer en el laboratorio”, dijo Artur Yakimovich, Investigador Asociado en El laboratorio de Jason Mercer en el MRC LMCB en el UCL y coprimer autor del estudio. “Los algoritmos son útiles cuando la plataforma evalúa los datos basados en imágenes como lo haría un especialista capacitado. También son muy fáciles de usar, incluso para científicos con poco o ningún conocimiento de codificación”.

Enlace relacionado:
Instituto Francis Crick
UCL




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