DEN-IM: dengue virus genotyping from amplicon and shotgun metagenomic sequencing

Mendes, C. I., Lizarazo, E., Machado, M. P., Silva, D. N., Tami, A., Ramirez, M., Couto, N., Rossen, J. W. A. & Carriço, J. A., Mar-2020, In : Microbial genomics. 6, 3, 11 p., 000328.

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Dengue virus (DENV) represents a public health threat and economic burden in affected countries. The availability of genomic data is key to understanding viral evolution and dynamics, supporting improved control strategies. Currently, the use of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies, which can be applied both directly to patient samples (shotgun metagenomics) and to PCR-amplified viral sequences (amplicon sequencing), is potentially the most informative approach to monitor viral dissemination and genetic diversity by providing, in a single methodological step, identification and characterization of the whole viral genome at the nucleotide level. Despite many advantages, these technologies require bioinformatics expertise and appropriate infrastructure for the analysis and interpretation of the resulting data. In addition, the many software solutions available can hamper the reproducibility and comparison of results. Here we present DEN-IM, a one-stop, user-friendly, containerized and reproducible workflow for the analysis of DENV short-read sequencing data from both amplicon and shotgun metagenomics approaches. It is able to infer the DENV coding sequence (CDS), identify the serotype and genotype, and generate a phylogenetic tree. It can easily be run on any UNIX-like system, from local machines to high-performance computing clusters, performing a comprehensive analysis without the requirement for extensive bioinformatics expertise. Using DEN-IM, we successfully analysed two types of DENV datasets. The first comprised 25 shotgun metagenomic sequencing samples from patients with variable serotypes and genotypes, including an in vitro spiked sample containing the four known serotypes. The second consisted of 106 paired-end and 76 single-end amplicon sequences of DENV 3 genotype III and DENV 1 genotype I, respectively, where DEN-IM allowed detection of the intra-genotype diversity. The DEN-IM workflow, parameters and execution configuration files, and documentation are freely available at

Original languageEnglish
Article number000328
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobial genomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2020

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