Community data-driven approach to identify pathogenic founder variants for pan-ethnic carrier screening panels

Yaron Einhorn, Moshe Einhorn, Alina Kurolap, Dror Steinberg, Adi Mory, Lily Bazak, Tamar Paperna, Julia Grinshpun-Cohen, Lina Basel-Salmon, Karin Weiss, Amihood Singer, Yuval Yaron, Hagit Baris Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) recently published new tier-based carrier screening recommendations. While many pan-ethnic genetic disorders are well established, some genes carry pathogenic founder variants (PFVs) that are unique to specific ethnic groups. We aimed to demonstrate a community data-driven approach to creating a pan-ethnic carrier screening panel that meets the ACMG recommendations. Methods: Exome sequencing data from 3061 Israeli individuals were analyzed. Machine learning determined ancestries. Frequencies of candidate pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants based on ClinVar and Franklin were calculated for each subpopulation based on the Franklin community platform and compared with existing screening panels. Candidate PFVs were manually curated through community members and the literature. Results: The samples were automatically assigned to 13 ancestries. The largest number of samples was classified as Ashkenazi Jewish (n = 1011), followed by Muslim Arabs (n = 613). We detected one tier-2 and seven tier-3 variants that were not included in existing carrier screening panels for Ashkenazi Jewish or Muslim Arab ancestries. Five of these P/LP variants were supported by evidence from the Franklin community. Twenty additional variants were detected that are potentially pathogenic tier-2 or tier-3. Conclusions: The community data-driven and sharing approaches facilitate generating inclusive and equitable ethnically based carrier screening panels. This approach identified new PFVs missing from currently available panels and highlighted variants that may require reclassification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalHuman Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • ACMG
  • Carrier screening
  • Community data-driven approach
  • Genomics
  • Pan-ethnic
  • Pathogenic founder variants


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