Rapid prenatal test for alpha-thalassemia
Researchers from Mahidol University have developed a rapid, high-throughput screening method for prevention and control of thalassemia. The related report by Munkongdee et al, "Rapid diagnosis of α-thalassemia by melting curve analysis," appears in the May 2010 issue of The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. α-Thalassemia is a blood disease caused by a genetic defect in the production of a component of hemoglobin. This disease is more prevalent in areas that either were previously or are currently endemic for malaria, including the Mediterranean and South Asia. Carriers of mutations in α-thalassemia may have some degree of protection against malaria, but children of parents who both carry the mutation α-thalassemia-1 may develop Hb Bart's hydrops fetalis, which results in fetal death in utero or soon after birth.
Prenatal screening and genetic counseling are essential for prevention and control of α-thalassemia. The current diagnostic assay is both labor-intensive and time-consuming. Therefore, researchers led by Dr. Saovaros Svasti of Mahidol University developed a novel, rapid, and reliable assay for the diagnosis of α-thalassemias. This assay has high sensitivity and specificity, rapid turnaround time, and a decreased risk of contamination between samples.
Munkongdee et al suggest that this technique will "allow [for] high throughput screening suitable for prevention and control of thalassemia in the Southeast Asia population."
Source: American Journal of Pathology
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Researchers find that Earth's magnetic shield is much older than previously thought
- York scientists unlock secrets of stars through aluminium
- Special issue: Philae results shed light on the nature of comets
- 'Golden jackals' of East Africa are actually 'golden wolves'
- Robotic insect mimics Nature's extreme moves
- Rice disease-resistance discovery closes the loop for scientific integrity
- Bossy cock takes the lead vocal of cock-a-doodle-do
- Scripps researchers map out trajectory of April 2015 earthquake in Nepal
- Inbreeding not to blame for Colorado's bighorn sheep population decline
- First measurements taken of South Africa's Iron Age magnetic field history