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Machine learning identifies the immunological signature of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

By Erika Van Nieuwenhove, Vasiliki Lagou, Lien Van Eyck, James Dooley, Ulrich Bodenhofer, An Goris, Stephanie Humblet-Baron, Carine Wouters, Adrian Liston

Posted 01 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/382499

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common childhood rheumatic disease, with a strongly debated pathophysiological origin. Both adaptive and innate immune processes have been proposed as primary drivers, which may account for the observed clinical heterogeneity, but few high-depth studies have been performed. Here we profiled the adaptive immune system of 85 JIA patients and 43 age-matched controls, identifying immunological changes unique to JIA and others common across a broad spectrum of childhood inflammatory diseases. The JIA immune signature was shared between clinically distinct subsets, but was accentuated in the systemic JIA patients and those patients with active disease. Despite the extensive overlap in the immunological spectrum exhibited by healthy children and JIA patients, machine learning analysis of the dataset proved capable of diagnosis of JIA patients with ~90% accuracy. These results pave the way for large-scale longitudinal studies of JIA, where machine learning could be used to predict immune signatures that correspond to treatment response group.

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