Wrestling with the repertoire: The promise and perils of next generation sequencing for antigen receptors


  • Paul D. Baum,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
    • Full correspondence: Dr. Paul D. Baum, Department of Medicine, University of California, 43 Worth St., San Francisco, CA 94114, USA

      Fax: +1-415-206-8091

      e-mail: PBaum@medsfgh.ucsf.edu

      See accompanying article by Bolotin et al.

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  • Vanessa Venturi,

    1. Centre for Vascular Research, University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
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  • David A. Price

    1. Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK
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Next generation sequencing technologies are revolutionizing the study of immune repertoires. These methods provide a previously unimaginable amount of sequence data, unfortunately accompanied by numerous challenges associated with error correction and interpretation that remain to be solved. For antigen receptors, these challenges will require dedicated solutions beyond those developed for genome sequencing, which may differ depending on the sequencing technology used and the purpose of the experiment. Many investigators are developing such methods, based on different sequencing platforms, but critical details of protocol and performance are proprietary. The field will move forward when these methods are shared and standardized, and when the accuracy, sensitivity and reproducibility of various sequencing, and analytic methods are evaluated using standardized samples in comparative experiments.