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Minerva Endocrinology 2021 May 14

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6507.21.03477-1


language: English

A simultaneous next-generation sequencing approach to the diagnosis of couple infertility

Vincenza PRECONE 1, Angelantonio NOTARANGELO 2, Giuseppe MARCEDDU 1, Leonardo D'AGRUMA 2, Rossella CANNARELLA 3, Aldo E. CALOGERO 3, Francesca CRISTOFOLI 1, Giulia GUERRI 4, Stefano PAOLACCI 4 , Marco CASTORI 2, Matteo BERTELLI 1, 4

1 MAGI Euregio, Bolzano, Italy; 2 Division of Medical Genetics, Fondazione IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy; 3 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 4 MAGI’S LAB, Rovereto, Trento, Italy

BACKGROUND: Infertility is a disorder of the male and/or female reproductive system, characterized by failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. On a world basis, about one in six couplesare affected by infertility during their reproductive lifespan. Despite a comprehensive diagnostic work-up, infertility in about 50% of couples remains idiopathic. In this context, a next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach has been suggested to increase diagnostic yield. Accordingly, this study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a custom-made NGS gene panel for the simultaneous genetic diagnosis of both partners of a large population of infertile couples.
METHODS: We developed a custom-made NGS panel for 229 genes associated with male and female infertility. The panel targeted exons and their flanking regions and was used to screen 99 couples with idiopathic infertility.
RESULTS: NGS sequencing revealed five pathogenic variants in six couples and 17 likely pathogenic variants or variants with uncertain significance (VUS). The pathogenic variants were identified in the following genes: GNRHR, CCDC39, DNAH5, and CCDC103; likely pathogenic variants were identified in TAC3, PROKR2, and CFTR; VUS were identified in CATSPER2, FGFR1, LRRC6, DNAH5, DNAH11, TGFBR3, and DNAI1.
CONCLUSIONS: The panel of genes designed for this study allowed the identification of pathogenetic gene mutations and the presence of VUS in 6.1% and 17.2%, respectively, of couples with idiopathic infertility. This is the first study to successfully apply an NGS-based genetic screening including 229 genes known to play a role in both male and female infertility.

KEY WORDS: Couple infertility; Idiopathic infertility; Next generation sequencing

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