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Characterizing sensitivity and coverage of clinical WGS as a diagnostic test for genetic disorders

By Yan Sun, Fengxia Liu, Chunna Fan, Yaoshen Wang, Lijie Song, Zhonghai Fang, Rui Han, Zhonghua Wang, Xiaodan Wang, Ziying Yang, Zhenpeng Xu, Jiguang Peng, Chaonan Shi, Hongyun Zhang, Wei Dong, Hui Huang, Yun Li, Yanqun Le, Jun Sun, Zhiyu Peng

Posted 02 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.01.019570

Background: With the reduce of cost and incomparable advantages, WGS is likely to change the way of clinical diagnosis of rare and undiagnosed diseases. However, the sensitivity and breadth of coverage of clinical WGS as a diagnostic test for genetic disorders has not been fully evaluated, especially for CNV detection. Methods: All the samples underwent WGS using MGISEQ-2000. The performance of NA12878, YH cell line, and the Chinese trios were measured for sensitivity, PPV, depth and breadth of coverage. We also compared the performance of WES and WGS using NA12878. The sensitivity and PPV were tested using family-based trio design in the Chinese trios. We also developed a systematic WGS pipeline for the analysis of 8 clinical cases with known disease-causing variants. Results: In general, the sensitivity and PPV for SNV/indel detection increased with mean depth, and reached a plateau at a ~40X mean depth using down-sampling samples of NA12878. With a mean depth of 40X, the sensitivity of homozyous and heterozygous SNPs of NA12878 was >99.25% and >99.50% respectively, and PPVs were 99.97% and 98.96%. Homozygous and heterozygous indels showed lower sensitivity and PPV. The sensitivity and PPV is still not 100% even with a mean depth of ~150X. We also observed a substantial variation in the sensitivity of CNV detection across different tools, especially in CNVs with a size of less than 1kb. In general, the breadth of coverage for disease-associated genes and CNVs increased with mean depth. The sensitivity and coverage of WGS (~40X) is better than WES (~120X). Among the Chinese trios with ~40X mean depth, the sensitivity in the offspring was >99.48% and >96.36% for SNP and indel detection, and PPVs were 99.86% and 97.93%. All the 12 previously validated variants in the 8 clinical cases were successfully detected by our WGS pipeline. Conclusions: The current standard of a mean depth of 40X may be sufficient for SNV/indel detection and identification of most CNVs. Clinical scientists should know the range of sensitivity and PPV for different classes of variants for a particular WGS pipeline, which would be useful when interpreting and delivering clinical reports.

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