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Multicolour Flow Cytometry (MFC) produces multidimensional analytical data on the quantitative expression of multiple markers on single cells. This data contains invaluable biomedical information on (1) the marker expressions per cell, (2) the variation in such expression across cells, (3) the variability of cell marker expression across samples that (4) may vary systematically between cells collected from donors and patients. Current conventional and even advanced data analysis methods for MFC data explore only a subset of these levels. The Discriminant Analysis of MultiAspect CYtometry (DAMACY) we present here provides a comprehensive view on health and disease responses by integrating all four levels. We validate DAMACY by using three distinct datasets: in vivo response of neutrophils evoked by systemic endotoxin challenge, the clonal response of leukocytes in bone marrow of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients, and the complex immune response in blood of asthmatics. DAMACY provided good accuracy 91-100% in the discrimination between health and disease, on par with literature values. Additionally, the method provides figures that give insight into the marker expression and cell variability for more in-depth interpretation, that can benefit both physicians and biomedical researchers to better diagnose and monitor diseases that are reflected by changes in blood leukocytes.

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