Next generation sequencing is widely used to link genetic variants to diseases, and it has massively accelerated the diagnosis and characterization of rare genetic diseases. After initial bioinformatic data processing, the interactive analysis of genome, exome, and panel sequencing data typically starts from lists of genetic variants in VCF format. Medical geneticists filter and annotate these lists to identify variants that may be relevant for the disease under investigation, or to select variants that are reported in a clinical diagnostics setting. We developed VCF.Filter to facilitate the search for disease-linked variants, providing a standalone Java program with a user-friendly interface for interactive variant filtering and annotation. VCF.Filter allows the user to define a broad range of filtering criteria through a graphical interface. Common workflows such as trio analysis and cohort-based filtering are pre-configured, and more complex analyses can be performed using VCF.Filter's support for custom annotations and filtering criteria. All filtering is documented in the results file, thus providing traceability of the interactive variant prioritization. VCF.Filter is an open source tool that is freely and openly available at http://vcffilter.rarediseases.at.
* shared first or shared senior authorship