Syahzuwan Hassan, Rahimah Ahmad and Zubaidah Zakaria (2013). Detection of β-globin gene mutations among β-thalassaemia carriers and patients in Malaysia: application of Multiplex Amplification Refractory Mutation System-Polymerase Chain Reaction. Malaysian Journal of Medical Science 20(1): 13-20
Background: β-thalassaemia is one of the most common single-gene disorders worldwide. Each ethnic population has its own common mutations, accounting for the majority of cases, with a small number of mutations for the rarer alleles. Due to the heterogeneity of β-thalassaemia and the multi-ethnicity of Malaysians, molecular diagnostics may be expensive and time consuming.
Methods: A simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approach involving a multiplex amplification refractory mutation system (MARMS) and one amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS), consisting of 20 β-globin gene mutations, were designed and employed to investigate β-thalassaemia patients and carriers.
Results: Out of 169 carriers tested with the MARMS, Cd 41/42 (–TTCT), Cd 26 (A–G) HbE, IVS 1–1 (G–T), and IVS 1–5 (G–C) were the most common mutations, accounting for 78.1%. Among the Malays, Cd 26 (A–G) HbE, Cd 41/42 (–TTCT), IVS 1–1 (G–T), and IVS 1–5 (G–C) were the most common mutations, accounting for 81.4%, whereas Cd 41/42 (–TTCT) and IVS 2–654 (C–T) were most common among the Chinese (79.1%).
Conclusion: We propose the use of this cheap, easy to interpret, and simple system for the molecular diagnostics of β-thalassaemia among Malaysians at the Institute for Medical Research (IMR).