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Viral coinfection analysis using a MinHash toolkit

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection associated with cervical cancer that frequently occurs as a coinfection of types and subtypes. Highly similar sublineages that show over 100-fold differences in cancer risk are not distinguishable in coinfections with current typing methods. We describe an efficient set of computational tools, rkmh, for analyzing complex mixed infections of related viruses based on sequence data. rkmh makes extensive use of MinHash similarity measures, and includes utilities for removing host DNA and classifying reads by type, lineage, and sublineage. We show that rkmh is capable of assigning reads to their HPV type as well as HPV16 lineage and sublineages. Accurate read classification enables estimates of percent composition when there are multiple infecting lineages or sublineages. While we demonstrate rkmh for HPV with multiple sequencing technologies, it is also applicable to other mixtures of related sequences.

Authors: Dawson ET; Raine-Bennett T; Durbin R; et al.

BMC Bioinformatics. 2019 Jul 12;20(1):389. Epub 2019-07-12.

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