A PCR-based strategy to detect the common severe determinants of alpha thalassaemia.
Bowden DK., Vickers MA., Higgs DR.
A rapid and inexpensive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based strategy is described which detects the three common, severe alpha thalassaemia determinants observed in southeast Asia (--SEA) and the Mediterranean (--MED and -(alpha)20.5). Oligonucleotide primers have been chosen which allow specific identification of both normal (alpha alpha) and abnormal (--) chromosomes using identical conditions in either the same or parallel PCR reactions. This strategy should be useful in the development of screening programmes to identify carriers of alpha thalassaemia (--/alpha alpha) and prenatal diagnosis of the Hb Bart's hydrops fetalis syndrome (--/--) for those populations in which this represents a major cause of perinatal death.