Sensitivity of Next-Generation Sequencing Metagenomic Analysis for Detection of RNA and DNA Viruses in Cerebrospinal Fluid: The Confounding Effect of Background Contamination
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) followed by metagenomic analysis enables the detection and identification of known as well as novel pathogens. It could be potentially useful in the diagnosis of encephalitis, caused by a variety of microorganisms. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the sensitivity of isothermal RNA amplification (Ribo-SPIA) followed by NGS metagenomic analysis in the detection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Moreover, we analyzed the contamination background. We detected 102 HIV copies and 103 HSV copies. The analysis of control samples (two water samples and one CSF sample from an uninfected patient) revealed the presence of human DNA in the CSF sample (91 % of all reads), while the dominating sequences in water were qualified as ‘other’, related to plants, plant viruses, and synthetic constructs, and constituted 31 % and 60 % of all reads. Bacterial sequences represented 5.9 % and 21.4 % of all reads in water samples and 2.3 % in the control CSF sample. The bacterial sequences corresponded mainly to Psychrobacter, Acinetobacter, and Corynebacterium genera. In conclusion, Ribo-SPIA amplification followed by NGS metagenomic analysis is sensitive for detection of RNA and DNA viruses. Contamination seems common and thus the results should be confirmed by other independent methods such as RT-PCR and PCR. Despite these reservations, NGS seems to be a promising method for the diagnosis of viral infections.
KeywordsBacteria Cerebrospinal fluid DNA Encephalitis Next-generation sequencing Metagenomics analysis Pathogens Viruses
This study was supported by grants from the Foundation for Polish Science – POMOST/2013-7/2 and from the Polish National Science Center (NCN) – N/N401/646940.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.
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