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Comparison of Sanger and next generation sequencing performance for genotyping Cryptosporidium isolates at the 18S rRNA and actin loci

Paparini, A., Gofton, A., Yang, R., White, N., Bunce, M. and Ryan, U.M. (2015) Comparison of Sanger and next generation sequencing performance for genotyping Cryptosporidium isolates at the 18S rRNA and actin loci. Experimental Parasitology, 151-152 . pp. 21-27.

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Cryptosporidium is an important enteric pathogen that infects a wide range of humans and animals. Rapid and reliable detection and characterisation methods are essential for understanding the transmission dynamics of the parasite. Sanger sequencing, and high-throughput sequencing (HTS) on an Ion Torrent platform, were compared with each other for their sensitivity and accuracy in detecting and characterising 25 Cryptosporidium-positive human and animal faecal samples.

Ion Torrent reads (n = 123,857) were obtained at both 18S rRNA and actin loci for 21 of the 25 samples. Of these, one isolate at the actin locus (Cattle 05) and three at the18S rRNA locus (HTS 10, HTS 11 and HTS 12), suffered PCR drop-out (i.e. PCR failures) when using fusion-tagged PCR. Sanger sequences were obtained for both loci for 23 of the 25 samples and showed good agreement with Ion Torrent-basedgenotyping. Two samples both from pythons (SK 02 and SK 05) produced mixed 18S and actin chromatograms by Sanger sequencing but were clearly identified by Ion Torrent sequencing as C. muris. One isolate (SK 03) was typed as C. muris by Sanger sequencing but was identified as a mixed C. muris and C. tyzzeri infection by HTS. 18S rRNA Type B sequences were identified in 4/6 C. parvum isolates when deep sequenced but were undetected in Sanger sequencing.

Sanger was cheaper than Ion Torrent when sequencing a small numbers of samples, but when larger numbers of samples are considered (n = 60), the costs were comparative. Fusion-tagged amplicon based approaches are a powerful way of approaching mixtures, the only draw-back being the loss of PCR efficiency on low-template samples when using primers coupled to MID tags and adaptors. Taken together these data show that HTS has excellent potential for revealing the “true” composition of species/types in a Cryptosporidium infection, but that HTS workflows need to be carefully developed to ensure sensitivity, accuracy and contamination are controlled.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc.
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