Searching for mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene (CFTR) is a key step in the diagnosis of and neonatal and carrier screening for cystic fibrosis (CF), and it has implications for prognosis and personalized therapy. The large number of mutations and genetic and phenotypic variability make this search a complex task. Herein, we developed, validated, and tested a laboratory assay for an extended search for mutations in CFTR using a next-generation sequencing-based method, with a panel of 188 CFTR mutations customized for the Italian population. Overall, 1426 dried blood spots from neonatal screening, 402 genomic DNA samples from various origins, and 1138 genomic DNA samples from patients with CF were analyzed. The assay showed excellent analytical and diagnostic operative characteristics. We identified and experimentally validated 159 (of 188) CFTR mutations. The assay achieved detection rates of 95.0% and 95.6% in two large-scale case series of CF patients from central and northern Italy, respectively. These detection rates are among the highest reported so far with a genetic test for CF based on a mutation panel. This assay appears to be well suited for diagnostics, neonatal and carrier screening, and assisted reproduction, and it represents a considerable advantage in CF genetic counseling.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.