Next-generation sequencing and its initial applications for molecular diagnosis of systemic auto-inflammatory diseases

Marta Rusmini, Silvia Federici, Francesco Caroli, Alice Grossi, Maurizia Baldi, Laura Obici, Antonella Insalaco, Alberto Tommasini, Roberta Caorsi, Eleonora Gallo, Alma Nunzia Olivieri, AngeloValerio Marzano, Domenico Coviello, Roberto Ravazzolo, Alberto Martini, Marco Gattorno, Isabella Ceccherini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Systemic auto-inflammatory disorders (SAIDs) are a heterogeneous group of monogenic diseases sharing a primary dysfunction of the innate immune system. More than 50% of patients with SAID does not show any mutation at gene(s) tested because of lack of precise clinical classification criteria and/or incomplete gene screening. To improve the molecular diagnosis and genotype interpretation of SAIDs, we undertook the development of a next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based protocol designed to simultaneous screening of 10 genes. Methods Fifty patients with SAID, already genotyped for the respective causative gene(s), were massively sequenced for the coding portions of MEFV, MVK, TNFRSF1A, NLRP3, NLRP12, NOD2, PSTPIP1, IL1RN, LPIN2 and PSMB8. Three different bioinformatic pipelines (Ion Reporter, CLC Bio Genomics Workbench, GATK-based in-house workflow) were compared. Results Once resulting variants were compared with the expected mutation list, no workflow turned out to be able to detect all the 79 variants known in the 50 DNAs. Additional variants were also detected, validated by Sanger sequencing and compared to assess true and false positive detection rates of the three workflows. Finally, the overall clinical picture of 34 patients was re-evaluated in the light of the new mutations found. Conclusions The present gene panel has resulted suitable for molecular diagnosis of SAIDs. Moreover, genotype-phenotype correlation has confirmed that the interpretation of NGS data in patients with an undefined inflammatory phenotype is remarkably difficult, thus supporting the need of evidence-based and validated clinical criteria to be used concurrently with the genetic analysis for the final diagnosis and classification of patients with SAIDs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Allergy


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