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Integration, Exploration, And Analysis Of High-dimensional Single-cell Cytometry Data Using Spectre

Thomas Myles Ashhurst, Felix Marsh-Wakefield, Givanna Haryono Putri, Alanna Gabrielle Spiteri, Diana Shinko, Mark Norman Read, Adrian Lloyd Smith, Nicholas Jonathan Cole King

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ABSTRACTAs the size and complexity of high-dimensional cytometry data continue to expand, comprehensive, scalable, and methodical computational analysis approaches are essential. Yet, contemporary clustering and dimensionality reduction tools alone are insufficient to analyze or reproduce analyses across large numbers of samples, batches, or experiments. Moreover, approaches that allow for the integration of data across batches or experiments are not well incorporated into computational toolkits to allow for streamlined workflows. Here we present Spectre, an R package that enables comprehensive end-to-end integration and analysis of high-dimensional cytometry data from different batches or experiments. Spectre streamlines the analytical stages of raw data pre-processing, batch alignment, data integration, clustering, dimensionality reduction, visualization and population labelling, as well as quantitative and statistical analysis. Critically, the fundamental data structures used within Spectre, along with the implementation of machine learning classifiers, allow for the scalable analysis of very large high-dimensional datasets, generated by flow cytometry, mass cytometry (CyTOF), or spectral cytometry. Using open and flexible data structures, Spectre can also be used to analyze data generated by single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) or high-dimensional imaging technologies, such as Imaging Mass Cytometry (IMC). The simple, clear, and modular design of analysis workflows allow these tools to be used by bioinformaticians and laboratory scientists alike. Spectre is available as an R package or Docker container. R code is available on Github (https://github.com/immunedynamics/spectre).