Targeted hybridization enrichment prior to next-generation sequencing is a widespread method for characterizing sequence variation in a research setting, and is being adopted by diagnostic laboratories. However, the number of variants identified can overwhelm clinical laboratories with strict time constraints, the final interpretation of likely pathogenicity being a particular bottleneck. To address this, we have developed an approach in which, after automatic variant calling on a standard unix pipeline, subsequent variant filtering is performed interactively, using AgileExomeFilter and AgilePindelFilter (http://dna.leeds.ac.uk/agile), tools designed for clinical scientists with standard desktop computers. To demonstrate the method's diagnostic efficacy, we tested 128 patients using (1) a targeted capture of 36 cancer-predisposing genes or (2) whole-exome capture for diagnosis of the genetically heterogeneous disorder primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). In the cancer cohort, complete concordance with previous diagnostic data was achieved across 793 variant genotypes. A high yield (42%) was also achieved for exome-based PCD diagnosis, underscoring the scalability of our method. Simple adjustments to the variant filtering parameters further allowed the identification of a homozygous truncating mutation in a presumptive new PCD gene, DNAH8. These tools should allow diagnostic laboratories to expand their testing portfolios flexibly, using a standard set of reagents and techniques.
Keywords: exome sequencing; mutation detection; sequence analysis; software.
© 2013 The Authors. *Human Mutation published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.