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Molecular analysis of α-thalassemia and β-thalassemia in Quanzhou region Southeast China
  1. Jianlong Zhuang1,
  2. Yuying Jiang1,
  3. Yuanbai Wang1,
  4. Yu Zheng2,
  5. Qianmei Zhuang1,
  6. Junyu Wang1,
  7. Shuhong Zeng1
  1. 1 Prenatal Diagnosis Center, Quanzhou Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Quanzhou City, China
  2. 2 Research and Development Department, Yaneng BIOscience (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd, Shenzhen, China
  1. Correspondence to Jianlong Zhuang, Prenatal Diagnosis Center, Quanzhou Women’s and Children’s Hospital, 362000 Quanzhou City, China; 415913261{at}; Yuanbai Wang, Prenatal Diagnosis Center, Quanzhou Women's and Children's Hospital, Quanzhou, China; wybslj{at}


Aims Thalassemia is one of the most prevalent inherited disorders in south China. However, there still has no comprehensive research on molecular characterisation of α-thalassemia and β-thalassemia in the Quanzhou region of Fujian province, a city with high incidence of thalassemia in Southeast China.

Methods A total of 11 668 cases were collected in Quanzhou region from January 2013 to June 2019. The deletions of α-thalassemia were detected by Gap-PCR, α-thalassemia and β-thalassemia mutations were detected by DNA reverse dot blot hybridisation. Rare thalassemia gene testing and DNA sequencing were performed to detect rare and novel thalassemia mutation for suspected rare thalassemia carriers.

Results Among 11 668 subjects, 4796 (41.10%) subjects were diagnosed with thalassemia. 3298 (28.27%) subjects were α-thalassemia carriers, 26 types of α-thalassemia mutations were identified, with the common α-thalassemia genotypes being --SEA/αα (71.47%), -α3.7/αα (17.13%) and -α4.2/αα (3.49%). 1407 (12.06%) subjects were β-thalassemia carriers, 18 types of β-thalassemia mutations were identified. The common five genotypes of β-thalassemia were βIVS-II-654N (36.53%), βCD41-42N (30.28%), βCD17N (17.13%), βCD26N (5.12%) and β-28N (4.62%). Additionally, 91 (0.78%) subjects with composite α-thalassemia and β-thalassemia were identified. Furthermore, 9 α-thalassemia and β-thalassemia gene mutations (CAP +40–43 (-AAAC), IVS-I-1 (G>T), IVS-I-5 (G>C), SEA-HPFH, CD53 (-T), CD37 (A>G), −90 (C>T), CD3 (T>C), -α6.9) were identified for the first time in the region. Among them, CD53 (-T), CD37 (A>G) and −90 (C>T) mutations were identified for the first time in Fujian province. Moreover, CD3 (T>C), -α6.9 mutations were first identified in Chinese individual.

Conclusions Quanzhou region of South China has high incidence of thalassemia mutations. In this study, several cases of rare thalassemia mutations have been identified, providing reference for clinical consultation. The completion of this study is of great significance to strengthen the prevention and control of thalassaemia in the Quanzhou region.

  • biochemistry
  • thalassaemia
  • haematology

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  • Handling editor Mary Frances McMullin.

  • Contributors JZ designed the study and wrote the article. JZ and QZ performed routine thalassemia analysis. YZ performed the specific Gap-PCR amplification and the DNA sequencing. YZ, SZ and JW analysed the data. YJ and YW revised and polished the paper. All authors approved the final article.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the ethics committee of The Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Quanzhou (2019 No. 14).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.