VarWatch-A stand-alone software tool for variant matching.

Authors:
Broder Fredrich, Marcus Schmöhl, Olaf Junge, Sven Gundlach, David Ellinghaus, Arne Pfeufer, Thomas Bettecken, Roman Siddiqui, Andre Franke, Thomas F Wienker, Marc P Hoeppner, Michael Krawczak
Year of publication:
2019
Volume:
14
Issue:
4
Issn:
1932-6203
Journal title abbreviated:
PLoS ONE
Journal title long:
PloS one
Impact factor:
2.740
Abstract:
Massively parallel DNA sequencing of clinical samples holds great promise for the gene-based diagnosis of human inherited diseases because it allows rapid detection of putatively causative mutations at genome-wide level. Without additional evidence complementing their initial bioinformatics evaluation, however, the clinical relevance of such candidate genetic variants often remains unclear. In consequence, dedicated 'matching' services have been established in recent years that aim at the discovery of other, comparable case reports to facilitate individual diagnoses. However, legal concerns have been raised about the global sharing of genetic data, particularly in Europe where the recently enacted General Data Protection Regulation EU-2016/679 classifies genetic data as highly sensitive. Hence, unrestricted sharing of genetic data from clinical cases on platforms outside the national jurisdiction increasingly may be perceived as problematic. To allow collaborative data producers, particularly large consortia of diagnostic laboratories, to acknowledge these concerns while still practicing efficient case matching internally, novel tools are required. To this end, we developed VarWatch, an easy-to-deploy and highly scalable case matching software that provides users with comprehensive programmatic tools and a user-friendly interface to fulfil said purpose.