The molecular basis of alpha thalassemia in India. Its interaction with the sickle cell gene
Kulozik AE., Kar BC., Serjeant GR., Weatherall DJ.
The alpha globin genotype of a total of 282 Indians from Orissa state has been analyzed. The overall alpha thalassemia gene frequency is 0.29, most frequently caused by the -alpha 3.7 and -alpha 4.2 deletions. In one family a novel -alpha 3.5 deletion removing the alpha 1 globin gene with some of its flanking sequences has been found, suggesting further sequence homology of the alpha globin gene cluster 3' to the alpha 1 globin gene. Patients with sickle cell disease and alpha thalassemia had higher hemoglobin (Hb) levels, RBC counts, and Hb A2 levels, and lower reticulocyte counts, MCV, MCH, and Hb F levels than those with a normal alpha genotype. The frequency of splenomegaly was not influenced by the alpha globin genotype. A higher prevalence of alpha thalassemia was found in patients greater than or equal to 10 years of age than in the younger group, suggesting a possible advantageous effect of alpha thalassemia on the survival of patients with sickle cell disease.