Identification of novel Asian Indian and Japanese mutations causing β-thalassaemia in the Egyptian population
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β-thalassaemia is a major health problem in Egypt. It has been estimated that of the 1.5 million live births, 1000 children with β-thalassaemia major are born annually. Although the available treatment has increased the life expectancy of patients, it is still unsatisfactory and represents a significant drain on the country’s resources. National screening and prenatal diagnosis programmes can be provided in Egypt once the spectrum of β-thalassaemia mutations has been identified within the Egyptian population. We have examined 16 DNA samples with 21 β-thalassaemia mutations that remained unidentified in a study of 54 patients reported by Rady and colleagues in 1996. Using the polymerase chain reaction and single strand conformation analysis we identified the following changes: frameshift (FS) codon (CD) 8/9 (+G), 4 FS CD 29 (–G) and 2 novel mutations in exon I (15 CD 22 A-C and 1 FS CD 28 –C). In addition, a silent, probably polymorphic mutation, CD 17 G-A was present in all chromosomes.
KeywordsPolymerase Chain Reaction Codon Life Expectancy Live Birth Prenatal Diagnosis
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