The Quality Sequencing Minimum (QSM): providing comprehensive, consistent, transparent next generation sequencing data quality assurance.
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Next generation sequencing (NGS) is routinely used in clinical genetic testing. Quality management of NGS testing is essential to ensure performance is consistently and rigorously evaluated. Three primary metrics are used in NGS quality evaluation: depth of coverage, base quality and mapping quality. To provide consistency and transparency in the utilisation of these metrics we present the Quality Sequencing Minimum (QSM). The QSM defines the minimum quality requirement a laboratory has selected for depth of coverage (C), base quality (B) and mapping quality (M) and can be applied per base, exon, gene or other genomic region, as appropriate. The QSM format is CX_BY(P <sub>Y</sub>)_MZ(P <sub>Z</sub>). X is the parameter threshold for C, Y the parameter threshold for B, P <sub>Y</sub> the percentage of reads that must reach Y, Z the parameter threshold for M, P <sub>Z</sub> the percentage of reads that must reach Z. The data underlying the QSM is in the BAM file, so a QSM can be easily and automatically calculated in any NGS pipeline. We used the QSM to optimise cancer predisposition gene testing using the TruSight Cancer Panel (TSCP). We set the QSM as C50_B10(85)_M20(95). Test regions falling below the QSM were automatically flagged for review, with 100/1471 test regions QSM-flagged in multiple individuals. Supplementing these regions with 132 additional probes improved performance in 85/100. We also used the QSM to optimise testing of genes with pseudogenes such as <i>PTEN</i> and <i>PMS2</i>. In TSCP data from 960 individuals the median number of regions that passed QSM per sample was 1429 (97%). Importantly, the QSM can be used at an individual report level to provide succinct, comprehensive quality assurance information about individual test performance. We believe many laboratories would find the QSM useful. Furthermore, widespread adoption of the QSM would facilitate consistent, transparent reporting of genetic test performance by different laboratories.
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Wellcome open research, 2018, 3 pp. 37 - ?