Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is an alternative to prenatal diagnosis (PND) giving couples at risk a chance to start a pregnancy with a disease-free baby. This study aimed to develop a new PGD protocol for alpha-thalassemia(-SEA) mutation, the commonest Mendelian disorder.
Multiplex fluorescent PCR was employed for mutation, contamination and linkage analysis. A couple experienced termination of pregnancy following positive PND decided to join the project.
Novel primers for alpha-thalassemia(-SEA) mutation amplifying 5 DNA fragments were developed. Two PGD cycles were performed, resulting in an un-affected baby. PND confirmed the heterozygous result. From 24 embryos, 87.5% of affected genotype were of best quality compared to 0% and 18.2% of those with normal and heterozygous, respectively.
A novel PCR protocol for the common alpha-thalassemia(-SEA) mutation is reported. This test should be widely applicable. Interestingly, a potential effect of alpha-thalassemia(-SEA) mutation on preimplantation embryonic development was noticed.