Springer Nature

MALVIRUS: an integrated application for viral variant analysis

Posted on 2022-04-20 - 08:00
Abstract Background Being able to efficiently call variants from the increasing amount of sequencing data daily produced from multiple viral strains is of the utmost importance, as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to track the spread of the viral strains across the globe. Results We present MALVIRUS, an easy-to-install and easy-to-use application that assists users in multiple tasks required for the analysis of a viral population, such as the SARS-CoV-2. MALVIRUS allows to: (1) construct a variant catalog consisting in a set of variations (SNPs/indels) from the population sequences, (2) efficiently genotype and annotate variants of the catalog supported by a read sample, and (3) when the considered viral species is the SARS-CoV-2, assign the input sample to the most likely Pango lineages using the genotyped variations. Conclusions Tests on Illumina and Nanopore samples proved the efficiency and the effectiveness of MALVIRUS in analyzing SARS-CoV-2 strain samples with respect to publicly available data provided by NCBI and the more complete dataset provided by GISAID. A comparison with state-of-the-art tools showed that MALVIRUS is always more precise and often have a better recall.


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