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Indian J Hum Genet. 2012 May;18(2):193-7. doi: 10.4103/0971-6866.100762.

Molecular epidemiology of β-thalassemia in Pakistan: Far reaching implications.

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1
Department of Pediatric Hematology & Molecular Medicine, National Institute of Blood Diseases, Karachi, Pakistan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

β -Thalassaemia, an autosomal recessive hemoglobinopathy, is one of the commonest genetically transmitted disorders throughout the world. Collective measures including carrier identification, genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis are required for preventing β-thalassemia.

AIM:

To achieve this objective, Identification of the spectrum of genetic mutations, especially for various ethnic backgrounds in Pakistan. Therefore, we designed a cross sectional prospective study to identify the frequency of various gene mutations in different ethnic groups of Pakistan.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Over a 5-year period, DNA from 648 blood samples {including specimens of chorionic villus sampling (CVS)} were analyzed for the twelve most common β-thalassemia mutations found in the Pakistani population by a Multiplex amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS). Each sample was analyzed for the mutation as well as the normal gene, appropriate with negative and positive controls, and reagent blanks.

RESULTS:

Out of 648 samples mutations were identified in 640 (98.75%) samples by multiplex ARMS. 8 common β-thalassemia mutations were identified in 8 different ethnic groups accounting for 93.9% of the β-thalasemia alleles.

CONCLUSIONS:

Based on the outcome of this study a cost effective proposal is formulated for detection of β-thalassemia mutations.

KEYWORDS:

Gene frequency; genetic epidemiology; prenatal diagnosis; thalassaemia prevention

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