Recommendations for whole genome sequencing in diagnostics for rare diseases


Souche, Erika; Beltran, Sergi; Brosens, Erwin; Belmont, John W.; Fossum, Magdalena; Riess, Olaf; Gilissen, Christian; Ardeshirdavani, Amin; Houge, Gunnar; van Gijn, Marielle; Clayton-Smith, Jill; Synofzik, Matthis, de Leeuw, Nicole; Deans, Zandra C.; Dincer, Yasemin; Eck, Sebastian H.; van der Crabben, Saski; Balasubramanian, Meena; Graessner, Holm; Sturm, Marc; Firth, Helen; Ferlini, Alessandra; Nabbout, Rima; De Baere, Elfride; Liehr, Thomas; Macek, Milan; Matthijs, Gert; Scheffer, Hans; Bauer, Peter; Yntema, Helger G.; Weiss, Marjan M.

In 2016, guidelines for diagnostic Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) have been published by EuroGentest in order to assist laboratories in the implementation and accreditation of NGS in a diagnostic setting. These guidelines mainly focused on Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) and targeted (gene panels) sequencing detecting small germline variants (Single Nucleotide Variants (SNVs) and insertions/deletions (indels)). Since then, Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) has been increasingly introduced in the diagnosis of rare diseases as WGS allows the simultaneous detection of SNVs, Structural Variants (SVs) and other types of variants such as repeat expansions. The use of WGS in diagnostics warrants the re-evaluation and update of previously published guidelines. This work was jointly initiated by EuroGentest and the Horizon2020 project Solve-RD. Statements from the 2016 guidelines have been reviewed in the context of WGS and updated where necessary. The aim of these recommendations is primarily to list the points to consider for clinical (laboratory) geneticists, bioinformaticians, and (non-)geneticists, to provide technical advice, aid clinical decision-making and the reporting of the results.

Published: 16 May 2022
Journal: Nature


Link: Read here

This publication is recommended by the Genetics Specialised Group group.

The ERNs are co-funded by the
European Union (Health Programme and CEF)

EU Commission

“EURO-NMD is one of the 24 European Reference Networks (ERNs) approved by the ERN Board of Member States. The ERNs are co-funded by the European Union (Health Programme and CEF).
For more information about the ERNs and the EU health strategy,
please visit