METHODS: The Filipino β-deletion was identified using gap-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the parents of transfusion dependent β-thalassaemia patients who were homozygous for the Filipino β-deletion in the indigenous population of Sabah, Malaysia. Hb subtypes were quantified on the BioRad Variant II Hb analyser. Concurrent α-thalassaemia was identified by multiplex gap-PCR for deletions and amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS)-PCR for non-deletional mutations.
RESULTS: The mean HbA2 level for Filipino β-thalassaemia trait was 5.9 ± 0.47 and with coinheritance of α-thalassaemia was 6.3 ± 0.44 (-α heterozygous) and 6.7 ± 0.36 (-α homozygous). The HbA2 levels were all >4% in keeping with the findings of classical β-thalassaemia trait and significantly higher than levels seen in non-deletional forms of β-thalassaemia.
CONCLUSION: The HbA2 level measured on the BioRad Variant II Hb analyser was lower than the level in the first description of the Filipino β-thalassaemia. β-thalassaemia trait with coinheritance of α-thalassaemia (-α) is associated with significantly higher HbA2 level.
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