IISER Bhopal develops AI-based tool called GutBug

GutBug enhances the understanding of various metabolite-gut bacterial interactions and their resultant effects on human host health

Scientists at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based method to predict how the bacteria in the gut break down the various types of food and medication. This web-based tool provides information about the specific bacterial enzymes, reactions, and bacteria involved in the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients by the human gut.

The AI-based tool called “GutBug” can potentially predict all possible bacterial enzymes that act on bioactive dietary molecules as well as oral drugs. 

The uniqueness of this study was the use of the largest enzyme substrate database to train the model. The database contained information on the gut bacterial species from eight populations to understand how drug and food metabolism varies across populations due to gut bacteria activity.

GutBug was able to identify the specific enzymes involved in the breakdown of various molecules and the bacterial strains that carry them. The tool was tested with 27 different molecules, including complex carbohydrates, flavonoids, and drugs, and was shown to be highly accurate, with success rates ranging from 0.78 to 0.97.

Explaining the technicalities of the research, Dr Vineet K. Sharma, IISER Bhopal, said “GutBug can help us better understand how the food we eat or medicines we consume orally are processed by our gut bacteria and how this affects our health. Such understanding can be useful in designing diets, developing new prebiotics, creating nutraceutical products, and improving drug design depending on the nature of the gut bacteria each individual has, leading to personalised medicine.”

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