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aKmerBroom: Ancient oral DNA decontamination using Bloom filters on k-mer sets


Camila Duitama, Gonzalez, Samarth Rangavittal, Riccardo Vicedomini, Rayan Chikhi, Hugues Richard


Dental calculus samples are modeled as a mixture of DNA coming from dental plaque and contaminants. Current computational decontamination methods such as Recentrifuge and DeconSeq require either a reference database or sequenced negative controls, and therefore have limited use cases. We present a reference-free decontamination tool tailored for the removal of contaminantDNAof ancient oral sample called aKmerBroom. Our tool builds a Bloom filter of known ancient and modern oral k-mers, then scans an input set of ancient metagenomic reads using multiple passes to iteratively retain reads likely to be of oral origin. On synthetic data, aKmerBroom achieves over 89:53% sensitivity and 94:00% specificity. On real datasets, aKmerBroom shows higher read retainment ( + 60% on average) than other methods. We anticipate aKmerBroom will be a valuable tool for the processing of ancient oral samples as it will prevent contaminated datasets from being completely discarded in downstream analyses.

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