• Bardet–Biedl syndrome;
  • genotype–phenotype correlation;
  • mutation;
  • next generation sequencing

Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS, OMIM 209900) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by obesity, retinitis pigmentosa, post axial polydactyly, cognitive impairment, renal anomalies and hypogonadism. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive clinical and molecular analysis of a cohort of 11 Tunisian BBS consanguineous families in order to give insight into clinical and genetic spectrum and the genotype–phenotype correlations. Molecular analysis using combined sequence capture and high-throughput sequencing of 30 ciliopathies genes revealed 11 mutations in 11 studied families. Five mutations were novel and six were previously described. Novel mutations included c.1110G>A and c.39delA (p.G13fs*41) in BBS1, c.115+5G>A in BBS2, c.1272+1G>A in BBS6, c.1181_1182insGCATTTATACC in BBS10 (p.S396Lfs*6). Described mutations included c.436C>T (p.R146*) and c.1473+4A>G in BBS1, c.565C> (p.R189*) in BBS2, deletion of exons 4–6 in BBS4, c.149T>G (p.L50R) in BBS5, and c.459+1G>A in BBS8; most frequent mutations were described in BBS1 (4/11, 37%) and BBS2 (2/11, 18%) genes. No phenotype–genotype correlation was evidenced. This data expands the mutations profile of BBS genes in Tunisia and suggests a divergence of the genetic spectrum comparing Tunisian and other populations.