2023 Eastern publications

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    Maternal type 1 diabetes and relative protection against offspring transmission
    (Elsevier, 2023-09-01) Allen, L. A.; Taylor, P. N.; Gillespie, K. M.; Oram, R. A.; Dayan, C. M.
    Type 1 diabetes is around twice as common in the offspring of men with type 1 diabetes than in the offspring of women with type 1 diabetes, but the reasons for this difference are unclear. This Review summarises the evidence on the rate of transmission of type 1 diabetes to the offspring of affected fathers compared with affected mothers. The findings of nine major studies are presented, describing the magnitude of the effect observed and the relative strengths and weaknesses of these studies. This Review also explores possible underlying mechanisms for this effect, such as genetic mechanisms (eg, the selective loss of fetuses with high-risk genes in mothers with type 1 diabetes, preferential transmission of susceptibility genes from fathers, and parent-of-origin effects influencing gene expression), environmental exposures (eg, exposure to maternal hyperglycaemia, exogenous insulin exposure, and transplacental antibody transfer), and maternal microchimerism. Understanding why type 1 diabetes is more common in the offspring of men versus women with type 1 diabetes will help in the identification of individuals at high risk of the disease and can pave the way in the development of interventions that mimic the protective elements of maternal type 1 diabetes to reduce the risk of disease in individuals at high risk.
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    Genomic Diagnosis of Rare Pediatric Disease in the United Kingdom and Ireland
    (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2023-04-01) Wright, C. F.; Campbell, P.; Eberhardt, R. Y.; Aitken, S.; Perrett, D.; Brent, S.; Danecek, P.; Gardner, E. J.; Chundru, V. K.; Lindsay, S. J.; Andrews, K.; Hampstead, J.; Kaplanis, J.; Samocha, K. E.; Middleton, A.; Foreman, J.; Hobson, R. J.; Parker, M. J.; Martin, H. C.; FitzPatrick, D. R.; Hurles, M. E.; Firth, H. V.
    BACKGROUND: Pediatric disorders include a range of highly penetrant, genetically heterogeneous conditions amenable to genomewide diagnostic approaches. Finding a molecular diagnosis is challenging but can have profound lifelong benefits. METHODS: We conducted a large-scale sequencing study involving more than 13,500 families with probands with severe, probably monogenic, difficult-to-diagnose developmental disorders from 24 regional genetics services in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Standardized phenotypic data were collected, and exome sequencing and microarray analyses were performed to investigate novel genetic causes. We developed an iterative variant analysis pipeline and reported candidate variants to clinical teams for validation and diagnostic interpretation to inform communication with families. Multiple regression analyses were performed to evaluate factors affecting the probability of diagnosis. RESULTS: A total of 13,449 probands were included in the analyses. On average, we reported 1.0 candidate variant per parent-offspring trio and 2.5 variants per singleton proband. Using clinical and computational approaches to variant classification, we made a diagnosis in approximately 41% of probands (5502 of 13,449). Of 3599 probands in trios who received a diagnosis by clinical assertion, approximately 76% had a pathogenic de novo variant. Another 22% of probands (2997 of 13,449) had variants of uncertain significance in genes that were strongly linked to monogenic developmental disorders. Recruitment in a parent-offspring trio had the largest effect on the probability of diagnosis (odds ratio, 4.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.16 to 5.31). Probands were less likely to receive a diagnosis if they were born extremely prematurely (i.e., 22 to 27 weeks' gestation; odds ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.68), had in utero exposure to antiepileptic medications (odds ratio, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.67), had mothers with diabetes (odds ratio, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.67), or were of African ancestry (odds ratio, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.78). CONCLUSIONS: Among probands with severe, probably monogenic, difficult-to-diagnose developmental disorders, multimodal analysis of genomewide data had good diagnostic power, even after previous attempts at diagnosis. (Funded by the Health Innovation Challenge Fund and Wellcome Sanger Institute.).
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    Overlapping neurological phenotypes in two extended consanguineous families with novel variants in the CNTNAP1 and ADGRG1 genes
    (Wiley, 2023-05-01) Khan, S.; Umair, M.; Abbas, S.; Ali, U.; Zaman, G.; Ansar, M.; Wang, R.; Zhang, X.; Houlden, H.; Harlalka, G. V.; Gul, A.
    BACKGROUND: Population diversity is important and rare disease isolates can frequently reveal novel homozygous or biallelic mutations that lead to expanded clinical heterogeneity, with diverse clinical presentations. METHODS: The present study describes two consanguineous families with a total of seven affected individuals suffering from a clinically similar severe syndromic neurological disorder, with abnormal development and central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) abnormalities. Whole exome sequencing (WES) and Sanger sequencing followed by 3D protein modeling was performed to identify the disease-causing gene. RNA was extracted from the fresh blood of both families affected and healthy individuals. RESULTS: The families were clinically assessed in the field in different regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Magnetic resonance imagining was obtained in the probands and blood was collected for DNA extraction and WES was performed. Sanger sequencing confirmed a homozygous, likely pathogenic mutation (GRCh38: chr17:42684199G>C; (NM_003632.3): c.333G>C);(NP_003623.1): p.(Trp111Cys) in the CNTNAP1 gene in family A, previously associated with Congenital Hypo myelinating Neuropathy 3 (CHN3; OMIM # 618186) and a novel nonsense variant in family B, (GRCh38: chr16: 57654086C>T; NC_000016.10 (NM_001370440.1): c.721C>T); (NP_001357369.1): p.(Gln241Ter) in the ADGRG1 gene previously associated with bilateral frontoparietal polymicrogyria (OMIM # 606854); both families have extended CNS and PNS clinical manifestations. In addition, 3D protein modeling was performed for the missense variant, p.(Trp111Cys), identified in the CNTNAP1, suggesting extensive secondary structure changes that might lead to improper function or downstream signaling. No RNA expression was observed in both families affected and healthy individuals hence showing that these genes are not expressed in blood. CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, two novel biallelic variants in the CNTNAP1 and ADGRG1 genes in two different consanguineous families with a clinical overlap in the phenotype were identified. Thus, the clinical and mutation spectrum is expanded to provide further evidence that CNTNAP1 and ADGRG1 are very important for widespread neurological development.
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    Persistence of immune responses after heterologous and homologous third COVID-19 vaccine dose schedules in the UK: eight-month analyses of the COV-BOOST trial
    (Elsevier, 2023-07-01) Liu, X.; Munro, A. P. S.; Wright, A.; Feng, S.; Janani, L.; Aley, P. K.; Babbage, G.; Baker, J.; Baxter, D.; Bawa, T.; Bula, M.; Cathie, K.; Chatterjee, K.; Dodd, K.; Enever, Y.; Fox, L.; Qureshi, E.; Goodman, A. L.; Green, C. A.; Haughney, J.; Hicks, A.; Jones, C. E.; Kanji, N.; van der Klaauw, A. A.; Libri, V.; Llewelyn, M. J.; Mansfield, R.; Maallah, M.; McGregor, A. C.; Minassian, A. M.; Moore, P.; Mughal, M.; Mujadidi, Y. F.; Belhadef, H. T.; Holliday, K.; Osanlou, O.; Osanlou, R.; Owens, D. R.; Pacurar, M.; Palfreeman, A.; Pan, D.; Rampling, T.; Regan, K.; Saich, S.; Saralaya, D.; Sharma, S.; Sheridan, R.; Stokes, M.; Thomson, E. C.; Todd, S.; Twelves, C.; Read, R. C.; Charlton, S.; Hallis, B.; Ramsay, M.; Andrews, N.; Lambe, T.; Nguyen-Van-Tam, J. S.; Cornelius, V.; Snape, M. D.; Faust, S. N.
    BACKGROUND: COV-BOOST is a multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 2 trial of seven COVID-19 vaccines used as a third booster dose in June 2021. Monovalent messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines were subsequently widely used for the third and fourth-dose vaccination campaigns in high-income countries. Real-world vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infections following third doses declined during the Omicron wave. This report compares the immunogenicity and kinetics of responses to third doses of vaccines from day (D) 28 to D242 following third doses in seven study arms. METHODS: The trial initially included ten experimental vaccine arms (seven full-dose, three half-dose) delivered at three groups of six sites. Participants in each site group were randomised to three or four experimental vaccines, or MenACWY control. The trial was stratified such that half of participants had previously received two primary doses of ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca; hereafter referred to as ChAd) and half had received two doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNtech, hereafter referred to as BNT). The D242 follow-up was done in seven arms (five full-dose, two half-dose). The BNT vaccine was used as the reference as it was the most commonly deployed third-dose vaccine in clinical practice in high-income countries. The primary analysis was conducted using all randomised and baseline seronegative participants who were SARS-CoV-2 naïve during the study and who had not received a further COVID-19 vaccine for any reason since third dose randomisation. RESULTS: Among the 817 participants included in this report, the median age was 72 years (IQR: 55-78) with 50.7% being female. The decay rates of anti-spike IgG between vaccines are different among both populations who received initial doses of ChAd/ChAd and BNT/BNT. In the population that previously received ChAd/ChAd, mRNA vaccines had the highest titre at D242 following their vaccine dose although Ad26. COV2. S (Janssen; hereafter referred to as Ad26) showed slower decay. For people who received BNT/BNT as their initial doses, a slower decay was also seen in the Ad26 and ChAd arms. The anti-spike IgG became significantly higher in the Ad26 arm compared to the BNT arm as early as 3 months following vaccination. Similar decay rates were seen between BNT and half-BNT; the geometric mean ratios ranged from 0.76 to 0.94 at different time points. The difference in decay rates between vaccines was similar for wild-type live virus-neutralising antibodies and that seen for anti-spike IgG. For cellular responses, the persistence was similar between study arms. CONCLUSIONS: Heterologous third doses with viral vector vaccines following two doses of mRNA achieve more durable humoral responses compared with three doses of mRNA vaccines. Lower doses of mRNA vaccines could be considered for future booster campaigns.