OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate the incidence of gene mosaicism in patients with PIDs.
METHODS: The amplicon-based deep sequencing method was used in the 3 parts of the study that establish (1) the allele frequency of germline variants (n = 100), (2) the incidence of parental gonosomal mosaicism in families with PIDs with de novo mutations (n = 92), and (3) the incidence of mosaicism in families with PIDs with moderate-to-high suspicion of gene mosaicism (n = 36). Additional investigations evaluated body distribution of postzygotic mutations, their stability over time, and their characteristics.
RESULTS: The range of allele frequency (44.1% to 55.6%) was established for germline variants. Those with minor allele frequencies of less than 44.1% were assumed to be postzygotic. Mosaicism was detected in 30 (23.4%) of 128 families with PIDs, with a variable minor allele frequency (0.8% to 40.5%). Parental gonosomal mosaicism was detected in 6 (6.5%) of 92 families with de novo mutations, and a high incidence of mosaicism (63.9%) was detected among families with moderate-to-high suspicion of gene mosaicism. In most analyzed cases mosaicism was found to be both uniformly distributed and stable over time.
CONCLUSION: This study represents the largest performed to date to investigate mosaicism in patients with PIDs, revealing that it affects approximately 25% of enrolled families. Our results might have serious consequences regarding treatment and genetic counseling and reinforce the use of next-generation sequencing-based methods in the routine analyses of PIDs.