A targeted approach with nanopore sequencing for the universal detection and identification of flaviviruses

Patrick Reteng, Linh Nguyen Thuy, Tam Tran Thi Minh, Maria Angélica Monteiro de Mello Mares-Guia, Maria Celeste Torres, Ana Maria Bispo de Filippis, Yasuko Orba, Shintaro Kobayashi, Kyoko Hayashida, Hirofumi Sawa, William W. Hall, Lan Anh Nguyen Thi, Junya Yamagishi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Nucleic acid test (NAT), most typically quantitative PCR, is one of the standard methods for species specific flavivirus diagnosis. Semi-comprehensive NATs such as pan-flavivirus PCR which covers genus Flavivirus are also available; however, further specification by sequencing is required for species level differentiation. In this study, a semi-comprehensive detection system that allows species differentiation of flaviviruses was developed by integration of the pan-flavivirus PCR and Nanopore sequencing. In addition, a multiplexing method was established by adding index sequences through the PCR with a streamlined bioinformatics pipeline. This enables defining cut-off values for observed read counts. In the laboratory setting, this approach allowed the detection of up to nine different flaviviruses. Using clinical samples collected in Vietnam and Brazil, seven different flaviviruses were also detected. When compared to a commercial NAT, the sensitivity and specificity of our system were 66.7% and 95.4%, respectively. Conversely, when compared to our system, the sensitivity and specificity of the commercial NAT were 57.1% and 96.9%, respectively. In addition, Nanopore sequencing detected more positive samples (n = 8) compared to the commercial NAT (n = 6). Collectively, our study has established a semi-comprehensive sequencing-based diagnostic system for the detection of flaviviruses at extremely affordable costs, considerable sensitivity, and only requires simple experimental methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19031
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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