VPMBench: a test bench for variant prioritization methods

Ruscheinski, Andreas and Reimler, Anna Lena and Ewald, Roland and Uhrmacher, Adelinde M. (2021) VPMBench: a test bench for variant prioritization methods. BMC Bioinformatics, 22 (1), p. 541. ISSN 1471-2105.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12859-021-04458-0


Background: Clinical diagnostics of whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing data requires geneticists to consider thousands of genetic variants for each patient. Various variant prioritization methods have been developed over the last years to aid clinicians in identifying variants that are likely disease-causing. Each time a new method is developed, its effectiveness must be evaluated and compared to other approaches based on the most recently available evaluation data. Doing so in an unbiased, systematic, and replicable manner requires significant effort. Results: The open-source test bench “VPMBench” automates the evaluation of variant prioritization methods. VPMBench introduces a standardized interface for prioritization methods and provides a plugin system that makes it easy to evaluate new methods. It supports different input data formats and custom output data preparation. VPMBench exploits declaratively specified information about the methods, e.g., the variants supported by the methods. Plugins may also be provided in a technology-agnostic manner via containerization. Conclusions: VPMBench significantly simplifies the evaluation of both custom and published variant prioritization methods. As we expect variant prioritization methods to become ever more critical with the advent of whole-genome sequencing in clinical diagnostics, such tool support is crucial to facilitate methodological research.

Item Type: Article
Projects: IDEA-PRIO-UR