Targeted Gene Panel Sequencing for Early-onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Chronic Diarrhea

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Background:In contrast to adult-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), where many genetic loci have been shown to be involved in complex disease etiology, early-onset IBD (eoIBD) and associated syndromes can sometimes present as monogenic conditions. As a result, the clinical phenotype and ideal disease management in these patients often differ from those in adult-onset IBD. However, due to high costs and the complexity of data analysis, high-throughput screening for genetic causes has not yet become a standard part of the diagnostic work-up of eoIBD patients.Methods:We selected 28 genes of interest associated with monogenic IBD and performed targeted panel sequencing in 71 patients diagnosed with eoIBD or early-onset chronic diarrhea to detect causative variants. We compared these results to whole-exome sequencing (WES) data available for 25 of these patients.Results:Target coverage was significantly higher in the targeted gene panel approach compared with WES, whereas the cost of the panel was considerably lower (approximately 25% of WES). Disease-causing variants affecting protein function were identified in 5 patients (7%), located in genes of the IL10 signaling pathway (3), WAS (1), and DKC1 (1). The functional effects of 8 candidate variants in 5 additional patients (7%) are under further investigation. WES did not identify additional causative mutations in 25 patients.Conclusions:Targeted gene panel sequencing is a fast and effective screening method for monogenic causes of eoIBD that should be routinely established in national referral centers.

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