Clinical impact of a targeted next-generation sequencing gene panel for autoinflammation and vasculitis

PLoS One. 2017 Jul 27;12(7):e0181874. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181874. eCollection 2017.


Background: Monogenic autoinflammatory diseases (AID) are a rapidly expanding group of genetically diverse but phenotypically overlapping systemic inflammatory disorders associated with dysregulated innate immunity. They cause significant morbidity, mortality and economic burden. Here, we aimed to develop and evaluate the clinical impact of a NGS targeted gene panel, the "Vasculitis and Inflammation Panel" (VIP) for AID and vasculitis.

Methods: The Agilent SureDesign tool was used to design 2 versions of VIP; VIP1 targeting 113 genes, and a later version, VIP2, targeting 166 genes. Captured and indexed libraries (QXT Target Enrichment System) prepared for 72 patients were sequenced as a multiplex of 16 samples on an Illumina MiSeq sequencer in 150bp paired-end mode. The cohort comprised 22 positive control DNA samples from patients with previously validated mutations in a variety of the genes; and 50 prospective samples from patients with suspected AID in whom previous Sanger based genetic screening had been non-diagnostic.

Results: VIP was sensitive and specific at detecting all the different types of known mutations in 22 positive controls, including gene deletion, small INDELS, and somatic mosaicism with allele fraction as low as 3%. Six/50 patients (12%) with unclassified AID had at least one class 5 (clearly pathogenic) variant; and 11/50 (22%) had at least one likely pathogenic variant (class 4). Overall, testing with VIP resulted in a firm or strongly suspected molecular diagnosis in 16/50 patients (32%).

Conclusions: The high diagnostic yield and accuracy of this comprehensive targeted gene panel validate the use of broad NGS-based testing for patients with suspected AID.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Heterozygote
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vasculitis / genetics*


  • DNA

Grant support

This work was funded in part from institutional grants from Rosetrees Trust and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (SOBI) and supported by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust and University College London. This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.