A Comparison of Bioinformatics Pipelines for Enrichment Illumina Next Generation Sequencing Systems in Detecting SARS-CoV-2 Virus Strains

Afiahayati, Stefanus Bernard, Gunadi, Hendra Wibawa, Mohamad Saifudin Hakim, Marcellus, Arli Aditya Parikesit, Chandra Kusuma Dewa, Yasubumi Sakakibara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a newly emerging virus well known as the major cause of the worldwide pandemic due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Major breakthroughs in the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) field were elucidated following the first release of a full-length SARS-CoV-2 genome on the 10 January 2020, with the hope of turning the table against the worsening pandemic situation. Previous studies in respiratory virus characterization require mapping of raw sequences to the human genome in the downstream bioinformatics pipeline as part of metagenomic principles. Illumina, as the major player in the NGS arena, took action by releasing guidelines for improved enrichment kits called the Respiratory Virus Oligo Panel (RVOP) based on a hybridization capture method capable of capturing targeted respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2; therefore, allowing a direct map of raw sequences data to SARS-CoV-2 genome in downstream bioinformatics pipeline. Consequently, two bioinformatics pipelines emerged with no previous studies benchmarking the pipelines. This study focuses on gaining insight and understanding of target enrichment workflow by Illumina through the utilization of different bioinformatics pipelines named as ‘Fast Pipeline’ and ‘Normal Pipeline’ to SARS-CoV-2 strains isolated from Yogyakarta and Central Java, Indonesia. Overall, both pipelines work well in the characterization of SARS-CoV-2 samples, including in the identification of major studied nucleotide substitutions and amino acid mutations. A higher number of reads mapped to the SARS-CoV-2 genome in Fast Pipeline and merely were discovered as a contributing factor in a higher number of coverage depth and identified variations (SNPs, insertion, and deletion). Fast Pipeline ultimately works well in a situation where time is a critical factor. On the other hand, Normal Pipeline would require a longer time as it mapped reads to the human genome. Certain limitations were identified in terms of pipeline algorithm, whereas it is highly recommended in future studies to design a pipeline in an integrated framework, for instance, by using NextFlow, a workflow framework to combine all scripts into one fully integrated pipeline.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1330
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug


  • Illumina
  • Next Generation Sequencing
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • bioinformatics pipeline
  • enrichment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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