Scientific Publications

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Measurement of genetic diseases as a cause of mortality in infants receiving whole genome sequencing

Kingsmore SF, Henderson A, Owen MJ, Clark MM, Hansen C, Dimmock D, Chambers CD, Jeliffe-Pawlowski LL, Hobbs C.

NPJ Genom Med. 2020 Nov 2;5:49. doi: 10.1038/s41525-020-00155-8. eCollection 2020.


Understanding causes of infant mortality shapes public health policy and prioritizes diseases for investments in surveillance, intervention and medical research. Rapid genomic sequencing has created a novel opportunity to decrease infant mortality associated with treatable genetic diseases. Herein, we sought to measure the contribution of genetic diseases to mortality among infants by secondary analysis of babies enrolled in two clinical studies and a systematic literature review. Among 312 infants who had been admitted to an ICU at Rady Children’s Hospital between November 2015 and September 2018 and received rapid genomic sequencing, 30 (10%) died in infancy. Ten (33%) of the infants who died were diagnosed with 11 genetic diseases. The San Diego Study of Outcomes in Mothers and Infants platform identified differences between in-hospital and out-of-hospital causes of infant death. Similarly, in six published studies, 195 (21%) of 918 infant deaths were associated with genetic diseases by genomic sequencing. In 195 infant deaths associated with genetic diseases, locus heterogeneity was 70%. Treatment guidelines existed for 70% of the genetic diseases diagnosed, suggesting that rapid genomic sequencing has substantial potential to decrease infant mortality among infants in ICUs. Further studies are needed in larger, comprehensive, unbiased patient sets to determine the generalizability of these findings.

PMID:33154820 | PMC:PMC7608690 | DOI:10.1038/s41525-020-00155-8

November 6, 2020
Infant Mortality

Mortality in a neonate with molybdenum cofactor deficiency illustrates the need for a comprehensive rapid precision medicine system

Kingsmore SF, Ramchandar N, James K, Niemi AK, Feigenbaum A, Ding Y, Benson W, Hobbs C, Nahas S, Chowdhury S, Dimmock D. 

Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2020 Feb 3;6(1):a004705. doi: 10.1101/mcs.a004705. Print 2020 Feb. ABSTRACT Neonatal encephalopathy with seizures is a presentation in which rapid whole-genome sequencing (rWGS) has shown clinical utility and improved outcomes. We report a neonate who presented on the third day of life with seizures refractory to antiepileptic medications and neurologic and computerized tomographic findings consistent with severe generalized brain swelling. rWGS revealed compound heterozygous variants in the molybdenum cofactor synthesis gene, type 1A (MOCS1 c.*7 + 5G > A and c.377G > A); a provisional diagnosis of molybdenum cofactor deficiency on day of life 4. An emergency investigational new drug application for intravenous replacement of the MOCS1 product, cyclic pyranopterin monophosphate, was considered, but felt unsuitable in light of the severity of disease and delay in the start of treatment. The patient died on day of life 9 despite having a precise molecular diagnosis within the first week of life. This case illustrates that an rWGS-based molecular diagnosis within the first week of life may be insufficient to improve outcomes. However, it did inform clinical decision-making with regard to resuscitation and predicted long-term outcome. We suggest that to achieve optimal reductions in morbidity and mortality, rWGS must be implemented within a comprehensive rapid precision medicine system (CRPM). Akin to newborn screening (NBS), CRPM will have onboarding, diagnosis, and precision medicine implementation components developed in response to patient and parental needs. Education of health-care providers in a learning model in which ongoing data analyses informs system improvement will be essential for optimal effectiveness of CRPM. PMID:32014857 | PMC:PMC6996516 | DOI:10.1101/mcs.a004705

February 5, 2020
Infant MortalityrWGS


Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing Has Clinical Utility in Children in the PICU

Sanford EF, Clark MM, Farnaes L, Williams MR, Perry JC, Ingulli EG, Sweeney NM, Doshi A, Gold JJ, Briggs B, Bainbridge MN, Feddock M, Watkins K, Chowdhury S, Nahas SA, Dimmock DP, Kingsmore SF, Coufal NG; RCIGM Investigators.

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2019 Nov;20(11):1007-1020. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000002056. ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: Genetic disorders are a leading contributor to mortality in the neonatal ICU and PICU in the United States. Although individually rare, there are over 6,200 single-gene diseases, which may preclude a genetic diagnosis prior to ICU admission. Rapid whole genome sequencing is an emerging method of diagnosing genetic conditions in time to affect ICU management of neonates; however, its clinical utility has yet to be adequately demonstrated in critically ill children. This study evaluates next-generation sequencing in pediatric critical care. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Single-center PICU in a tertiary children’s hospital. PATIENTS: Children 4 months to 18 years admitted to the PICU who were nominated between July 2016 and May 2018. INTERVENTIONS: Rapid whole genome sequencing with targeted phenotype-driven analysis was performed on patients and their parents, when parental samples were available. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A molecular diagnosis was made by rapid whole genome sequencing in 17 of 38 children (45%). In four of the 17 patients (24%), the genetic diagnoses led to a change in management while in the PICU, including genome-informed changes in pharmacotherapy and transition to palliative care. Nine of the 17 diagnosed children (53%) had no dysmorphic features or developmental delay. Eighty-two percent of diagnoses affected the clinical management of the patient and/or family after PICU discharge, including avoidance of biopsy, administration of factor replacement, and surveillance for disorder-related sequelae. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates a retrospective evaluation for undiagnosed genetic disease in the PICU and clinical utility of rapid whole genome sequencing in a portion of critically ill children. Further studies are needed to identify PICU patients who will benefit from rapid whole genome sequencing early in PICU admission when the underlying etiology is unclear. PMID:31246743 | PMC:PMC6832787 | DOI:10.1097/PCC.0000000000002056

June 28, 2019
Infant MortalityrWGS

Diagnosis of genetic diseases in seriously ill children by rapid whole-genome sequencing and automated phenotyping and interpretation

Michelle M Clark, Amber Hildreth, Sergey Batalov, Yan Ding, Shimul Chowdhury, Kelly Watkins, Katarzyna Ellsworth, Brandon Camp, Cyrielle I Kint, Calum Yacoubian 5, Lauge Farnaes, Matthew N Bainbridge, Curtis Beebe, Joshua J A Braun, Margaret Bray, Jeanne Carroll, Julie A Cakici, Sara A Caylor, Christina Clarke, Mitchell P Creed, Jennifer Friedman, Alison Frith, Richard Gain, Mary Gaughran, Shauna George, Sheldon Gilmer, Joseph Gleeson, Jeremy Gore, Haiying Grunenwald, Raymond L Hovey, Marie L Janes, Kejia Lin, Paul D McDonagh, Kyle McBride, Patrick Mulrooney, Shareef Nahas, Daeheon Oh, Albert Oriol, Laura Puckett, Zia Rady, Martin G Reese, Julie Ryu, Lisa Salz, Erica Sanford, Lawrence Stewart, Nathaly Sweeney, Mari Tokita, Luca Van Der Kraan, Sarah White, Kristen Wigby, Brett Williams, Terence Wong, Meredith S Wright, Catherine Yamada, Peter Schols, John Reynders, Kevin Hall, David Dimmock, Narayanan Veeraraghavan, Thomas Defay 8, Stephen F Kingsmore

Sci Transl Med. 2019 Apr 24;11(489):eaat6177. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat6177. ABSTRACT By informing timely targeted treatments, rapid whole-genome sequencing can improve the outcomes of seriously ill children with genetic diseases, particularly infants in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units (ICUs). The need for highly qualified professionals to decipher results, however, precludes widespread implementation. We describe a platform for population-scale, provisional diagnosis of genetic diseases with automated phenotyping and interpretation. Genome sequencing was expedited by bead-based genome library preparation directly from blood samples and sequencing of paired 100-nt reads in 15.5 hours. Clinical natural language processing (CNLP) automatically extracted children’s deep phenomes from electronic health records with 80% precision and 93% recall. In 101 children with 105 genetic diseases, a mean of 4.3 CNLP-extracted phenotypic features matched the expected phenotypic features of those diseases, compared with a match of 0.9 phenotypic features used in manual interpretation. We automated provisional diagnosis by combining the ranking of the similarity of a patient’s CNLP phenome with respect to the expected phenotypic features of all genetic diseases, together with the ranking of the pathogenicity of all of the patient’s genomic variants. Automated, retrospective diagnoses concurred well with expert manual interpretation (97% recall and 99% precision in 95 children with 97 genetic diseases). Prospectively, our platform correctly diagnosed three of seven seriously ill ICU infants (100% precision and recall) with a mean time saving of 22:19 hours. In each case, the diagnosis affected treatment. Genome sequencing with automated phenotyping and interpretation in a median of 20:10 hours may increase adoption in ICUs and, thereby, timely implementation of precise treatments. PMID:31019026 | DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.aat6177

April 26, 2019
Infant MortalityRare Disease


Whole exome sequencing reveals HSPA1L as a genetic risk factor for spontaneous preterm birth

Huusko JM, Karjalainen MK, Graham BE, Zhang G, Farrow EG, Miller NA, Jacobsson B, Eidem HR, Murray JC, Bedell B, Breheny P, Brown NW, Bødker FL, Litterman NK, Jiang PP, Russell L, Hinds DA, Hu Y; 23andMe Research Team, Rokas A, Teramo K, Christensen K, Williams SM, Rämet M, Kingsmore SF, Ryckman KK, Hallman M, Muglia LJ.

PLoS Genet. 2018 Jul 12;14(7):e1007394. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007394. eCollection 2018 Jul. ABSTRACT Preterm birth is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in the susceptibility to preterm birth, but despite many investigations, the genetic basis for preterm birth remain largely unknown. Our objective was to identify rare, possibly damaging, nucleotide variants in mothers from families with recurrent spontaneous preterm births (SPTB). DNA samples from 17 Finnish mothers who delivered at least one infant preterm were subjected to whole exome sequencing. All mothers were of northern Finnish origin and were from seven multiplex families. Additional replication samples of European origin consisted of 93 Danish sister pairs (and two sister triads), all with a history of a preterm delivery. Rare exonic variants (frequency <1%) were analyzed to identify genes and pathways likely to affect SPTB susceptibility. We identified rare, possibly damaging, variants in genes that were common to multiple affected individuals. The glucocorticoid receptor signaling pathway was the most significant (p<1.7e-8) with genes containing these variants in a subgroup of ten Finnish mothers, each having had 2-4 SPTBs. This pathway was replicated among the Danish sister pairs. A gene in this pathway, heat shock protein family A (Hsp70) member 1 like (HSPA1L), contains two likely damaging missense alleles that were found in four different Finnish families. One of the variants (rs34620296) had a higher frequency in cases compared to controls (0.0025 vs. 0.0010, p = 0.002) in a large preterm birth genome-wide association study (GWAS) consisting of mothers of general European ancestry. Sister pairs in replication samples also shared rare, likely damaging HSPA1L variants. Furthermore, in silico analysis predicted an additional phosphorylation site generated by rs34620296 that could potentially affect chaperone activity or HSPA1L protein stability. Finally, in vitro functional experiment showed a link between HSPA1L activity and decidualization. In conclusion, rare, likely damaging, variants in HSPA1L were observed in multiple families with recurrent SPTB. PMID:30001343 | PMC:PMC6042692 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1007394

July 13, 2018
Infant Mortality

Rapid whole-genome sequencing decreases infant morbidity and cost of hospitalization

Farnaes L, Hildreth A, Sweeney NM, Clark MM, Chowdhury S, Nahas S, Cakici JA, Benson W, Kaplan RH, Kronick R, Bainbridge MN, Friedman J, Gold JJ, Ding Y, Veeraraghavan N, Dimmock D, Kingsmore SF. 

NPJ Genom Med. 2018 Apr 4;3:10. doi: 10.1038/s41525-018-0049-4. eCollection 2018. ABSTRACT Genetic disorders are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Rapid whole-genome sequencing (rWGS) can diagnose genetic disorders in time to change acute medical or surgical management (clinical utility) and improve outcomes in acutely ill infants. We report a retrospective cohort study of acutely ill inpatient infants in a regional children’s hospital from July 2016-March 2017. Forty-two families received rWGS for etiologic diagnosis of genetic disorders. Probands also received standard genetic testing as clinically indicated. Primary end-points were rate of diagnosis, clinical utility, and healthcare utilization. The latter was modelled in six infants by comparing actual utilization with matched historical controls and/or counterfactual utilization had rWGS been performed at different time points. The diagnostic sensitivity of rWGS was 43% (eighteen of 42 infants) and 10% (four of 42 infants) for standard genetic tests (P = .0005). The rate of clinical utility of rWGS (31%, thirteen of 42 infants) was significantly greater than for standard genetic tests (2%, one of 42; P = .0015). Eleven (26%) infants with diagnostic rWGS avoided morbidity, one had a 43% reduction in likelihood of mortality, and one started palliative care. In six of the eleven infants, the changes in management reduced inpatient cost by $800,000-$2,000,000. These findings replicate a prior study of the clinical utility of rWGS in acutely ill inpatient infants, and demonstrate improved outcomes and net healthcare savings. rWGS merits consideration as a first tier test in this setting. PMID:29644095 | PMC:PMC5884823 | DOI:10.1038/s41525-018-0049-4

April 13, 2018
Infant MortalityrWGS

The NSIGHT1-randomized controlled trial: rapid whole-genome sequencing for accelerated etiologic diagnosis in critically ill infants

Petrikin JE, Cakici JA, Clark MM, Willig LK, Sweeney NM, Farrow EG, Saunders CJ, Thiffault I, Miller NA, Zellmer L, Herd SM, Holmes AM, Batalov S, Veeraraghavan N, Smith LD, Dimmock DP, Leeder JS, Kingsmore SF.

NPJ Genom Med. 2018 Feb 9;3:6. doi: 10.1038/s41525-018-0045-8. eCollection 2018. ABSTRACT Genetic disorders are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in infants in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units (NICU/PICU). While genomic sequencing is useful for genetic disease diagnosis, results are usually reported too late to guide inpatient management. We performed an investigator-initiated, partially blinded, pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial to test the hypothesis that rapid whole-genome sequencing (rWGS) increased the proportion of NICU/PICU infants receiving a genetic diagnosis within 28 days. The participants were families with infants aged <4 months in a regional NICU and PICU, with illnesses of unknown etiology. The intervention was trio rWGS. Enrollment from October 2014 to June 2016, and follow-up until November 2016. Of all, 26 female infants, 37 male infants, and 2 infants of undetermined sex were randomized to receive rWGS plus standard genetic tests (n = 32, cases) or standard genetic tests alone (n = 33, controls). The study was terminated early due to loss of equipoise: 73% (24) controls received genomic sequencing as standard tests, and 15% (five) controls underwent compassionate cross-over to receive rWGS. Nevertheless, intention to treat analysis showed the rate of genetic diagnosis within 28 days of enrollment (the primary end-point) to be higher in cases (31%, 10 of 32) than controls (3%, 1 of 33; difference, 28% [95% CI, 10-46%]; p = 0.003). Among infants enrolled in the first 25 days of life, the rate of neonatal diagnosis was higher in cases (32%, 7 of 22) than controls (0%, 0 of 23; difference, 32% [95% CI, 11-53%];p = 0.004). Median age at diagnosis (25 days [range 14-90] in cases vs. 130 days [range 37-451] in controls) and median time to diagnosis (13 days [range 1-84] in cases, vs. 107 days [range 21-429] in controls) were significantly less in cases than controls (p = 0.04). In conclusion, rWGS increased the proportion of NICU/PICU infants who received timely diagnoses of genetic diseases. PMID:29449963 | PMC:PMC5807510 | DOI:10.1038/s41525-018-0045-8

February 17, 2018
Infant MortalityrWGS

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