Modifying the Database

Databases can be modified in various ways using the immunedb_modify command.

Appending New Data

Adding new samples to a database is simply running the steps in Running the Pipeline on Your Data just on the new FASTA/FASTQ or AIRR files. Effort has been made to reduce the amount of information that needs to be recomputed when samples are added. However, after new samples are added all affected subjects will be entirely re-collapsed and clones will be recalculated.

Changing Metadata

Metadata specified when initially populating ImmuneDB via importing or identification can be updated in two steps. First, export the metadata currently in the database with:

$ immunedb_export PATH_TO_CONFIG samples --for-update

This will generate a samples.tsv file which can by modified. Headers and values can be changed, deleted, or added.


Note that changing the subject of any sample will require steps after and including immunedb_collapse to be re-run.

After modifying the metadata, update the database with:

$ immunedb_modify PATH_TO_CONFIG update-metadata samples.tsv

Combining Samples


You cannot collapse samples from multiple subjects. If that functionality is desired, first modify the metadata to set the subject for each sample to be the same with update-metadata, and then run combine-samples.

One assumption ImmuneDB makes is that each sample is a biological replicate in that no one cell has its BCR/TCR sequence in more than one sample. If you have technical replicates, multiple independent sequencing runs of the same same biological replicate, they should be combined into one ImmuneDB-sample each. To do so, add a metadata field to the database as described in Changing Metadata where all technical replicates from the same biological replicate have the same value.

For example, if we have the following samples where each sample has two technical replicates:

sample subject
biorep1_techrep1 S1
biorep1_techrep2 S1
biorep2_techrep1 S1
biorep2_techrep2 S1

You would update the metadata to be:

sample subject collapse
biorep1_techrep1 S1 first_sample
biorep1_techrep2 S1 first_sample
biorep2_techrep1 S1 second_sample
biorep2_techrep2 S1 second_sample

And then run:

$ immunedb_modify PATH_TO_CONFIG combine-samples collapse

This will result in the four replicates being collapsed into two, using the collapse field as the new name for each:

sample subject
first_sample S1
second_sample S1

Note the header collapse can have any value you want so long as it’s passed to immunedb_modify. Further, the values in that column can be arbitrary but will be used as the new name of the samples after collapsing.

Deleting Samples

The following command can be used to delete samples by ID:

$ immunedb_modify PATH_TO_CONFIG delete-samples [sample_ids]

Note that deleting samples will require the subject to be re-analyzed by running all pipeline steps after and including immunedb_collapse.