Ultrasensitive detection of rare mutations using next-generation targeted resequencing NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH Flaherty, P., Natsoulis, G., Muralidharan, O., Winters, M., Buenrostro, J., Bell, J., Brown, S., Holodniy, M., Zhang, N., Ji, H. P. 2012; 40 (1)


With next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, one can interrogate a specific genomic region of interest at very high depth of coverage and identify less prevalent, rare mutations in heterogeneous clinical samples. However, the mutation detection levels are limited by the error rate of the sequencing technology as well as by the availability of variant-calling algorithms with high statistical power and low false positive rates. We demonstrate that we can robustly detect mutations at 0.1% fractional representation. This represents accurate detection of one mutant per every 1000 wild-type alleles. To achieve this sensitive level of mutation detection, we integrate a high accuracy indexing strategy and reference replication for estimating sequencing error variance. We employ a statistical model to estimate the error rate at each position of the reference and to quantify the fraction of variant base in the sample. Our method is highly specific (99%) and sensitive (100%) when applied to a known 0.1% sample fraction admixture of two synthetic DNA samples to validate our method. As a clinical application of this method, we analyzed nine clinical samples of H1N1 influenza A and detected an oseltamivir (antiviral therapy) resistance mutation in the H1N1 neuraminidase gene at a sample fraction of 0.18%.

View details for DOI 10.1093/nar/gkr861

View details for Web of Science ID 000298733500002

View details for PubMedID 22013163

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3245950