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Accurate sample assignment in a multiplexed, ultra-sensitive, high-throughput sequencing assay for minimal residual disease

High throughput sequencing (HTS) (next generation sequencing) of the rearranged immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor genes promises to be cheaper and more sensitive than current methods for monitoring minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. However, adoption of new approaches by clinical laboratories requires careful evaluation of all potential sources of error and the development of strategies to ensure the highest accuracy. Timely and efficient clinical use of HTS platforms will depend on combining multiple samples (multiplexing) in each sequencing run. Here we examine immunoglobulin heavy chain gene HTS on the Illumina MiSeq platform for MRD (HTS-MRD). We identify errors associated with multiplexing that could potentially impact on the accuracy of MRD analysis. We optimise a strategy combining high purity, sequence-optimised oligonucleotides, dual-indexing and an error-aware demultiplexing approach to minimise errors and maximise sensitivity. We present a probability-based demultiplexing pipeline, Error-Aware Demultiplexer (EAD) - that is suitable for all MiSeq sequencing strategies and accurately assigns samples to the correct identifier without excessive loss of data. Finally using controls quantified by digital PCR, we show that HTS-MRD can accurately detect as few as 1 in 106 copies of specific leukemic MRD.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001001983 Illumina MiSeq 491