What is the right sequencing approach? Solo VS extended family analysis in consanguineous populations

Ahmed Alfares*, Lamia Alsubaie, Taghrid Aloraini, Aljoharah Alaskar, Azza Althagafi, Ahmed Alahmad, Mamoon Rashid, Abdulrahman Alswaid, Ali Alothaim, Wafaa Eyaid, Faroug Ababneh, Mohammed Albalwi, Raniah Alotaibi, Mashael Almutairi, Nouf Altharawi, Alhanouf Alsamer, Marwa Abdelhakim, Senay Kafkas, Katsuhiko Mineta, Nicole CheungAbdallah Abdallah, Stine Büchmann-Møller, Yoshinori Fukasawa, Xiang Zhao, Issaac Rajan, Robert Hoehndorf, Fuad Al Mutairi, Takashi Gojobori, Majid Alfadhel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Testing strategies is crucial for genetics clinics and testing laboratories. In this study, we tried to compare the hit rate between solo and trio and trio plus testing and between trio and sibship testing. Finally, we studied the impact of extended family analysis, mainly in complex and unsolved cases. Methods: Three cohorts were used for this analysis: one cohort to assess the hit rate between solo, trio and trio plus testing, another cohort to examine the impact of the testing strategy of sibship genome vs trio-based analysis, and a third cohort to test the impact of an extended family analysis of up to eight family members to lower the number of candidate variants. Results: The hit rates in solo, trio and trio plus testing were 39, 40, and 41%, respectively. The total number of candidate variants in the sibship testing strategy was 117 variants compared to 59 variants in the trio-based analysis. We noticed that the average number of coding candidate variants in trio-based analysis was 1192 variants and 26,454 noncoding variants, and this number was lowered by 50-75% after adding additional family members, with up to two coding and 66 noncoding homozygous variants only, in families with eight family members. Conclusion: There was no difference in the hit rate between solo and extended family members. Trio-based analysis was a better approach than sibship testing, even in a consanguineous population. Finally, each additional family member helped to narrow down the number of variants by 50-75%. Our findings could help clinicians, researchers and testing laboratories select the most cost-effective and appropriate sequencing approach for their patients. Furthermore, using extended family analysis is a very useful tool for complex cases with novel genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103
JournalBMC Medical Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 17 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Extending family analysis
  • Solo
  • Trio
  • Trio plus
  • Whole exome sequencing
  • Whole genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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