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BinDel: software tool for detecting clinically significant microdeletions in low-coverage WGS-based NIPT samples

Clinically pathogenic chromosomal microdeletions causing genetic disorders such as DiGeorge syndrome are rare genetic aberrations that can cause clinically relevant fetal and childhood developmental deficiencies. Clinical severity of such deficiencies depend on the exact genomic location and genes affected by the fetal chromosomal aberration. Here we present the BinDel, a novel region-aware microdeletion detection software package developed to infer clinically relevant microdeletion risk in low-coverage whole-genome sequencing NIPT data. To test BinDel, we quantified the impact of sequencing coverage, fetal DNA fraction, and region length on microdeletion risk detection accuracy. We also estimated BinDel accuracy on known microdeletion samples and clinically validated aneuploidy samples. BinDel identified each positive control sample as high risk. We also determined that it is critical to take into account that the sample with a detected high microdeletion risk does not have a full chromosome aneuploidy, as the latter can cause erroneous high microdeletion risk findings. We observed that lower sequencing coverage resulted in reduced microdeletion detection accuracy, and higher fetal fractions considerably increased the microdeletion detection accuracy, with coverage becoming increasingly relevant as fetal DNA fraction decreased. In conclusion, we developed an R package-based software tool BinDel for inferring fetal microdeletion risks, which accurately identified all positive control samples with microdeletion or -duplication aberrations as high-risk samples.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001009512 NextSeq 550 377