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Hum Mutat. 2003 Jan;21(1):101.

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) variants in Malaysian Malays.

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


We performed DNA analysis using cord blood samples on 86 male Malay neonates diagnosed as G6PD deficiency in the National University of Malaysia Hospital by a combination of rapid PCR-based techniques, single-stranded conformation polymorphism analysis (SSCP) and DNA sequencing. We found 37.2% were 871G>A (G6PD Viangchan), 26.7% were nt 563 C>T (G6PD Mediterranean) and 15.1% were 487G>A (G6PD Mahidol) followed by 4.7% 1376G>T (G6PD Canton), 3.5% 383T>C (G6PD Vanua Lava), 3.5% 592C>T (G6PD Coimbra), 2.3% 1388G>A (G6PD Kaiping), 2.3% 1360C>T (G6PD Union), 2.3% 1003G>A (G6PD Chatham), 1.2% 131C>G (G6PD Orissa) and 1.2% 1361G>A (G6PD Andalus). Seventy-one (82.6%) of the 86 G6PD-deficient neonates had neonatal jaundice. Fifty seven (80%) of the 71 neonates with jaundice required phototherapy with only one neonate progressing to severe hyperbilirubinemia (serum bilirubin >340 micromol/l) requiring exchange transfusion. There was no significant difference in the incidence of neonatal jaundice, mean serum bilirubin level, mean age for peak serum bilirubin, percentage of babies requiring phototherapy and mean number of days of phototherapy between the three common variants. In conclusion, the molecular defects of Malay G6PD deficiency is heterogeneous and G6PD Viangchan, Mahidol and Mediterranean account for at least 80% of the cases. Our findings support the observation that G6PD Viangchan and Mahidol are common Southeast Asian variants. Their presence in the Malays suggests a common ancestral origin with the Cambodians, Laotians and Thais. Our findings together with other preliminary data on the presence of the Mediterranean variant in this region provide evidence of strong Arab influence in the Malay Archipelago.

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