Detection of alpha-thalassemia-1 Southeast Asian type using real-time gap-PCR with SYBR Green1 and high resolution melting analysis

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α-Thalassemia-1 Southeast Asian (SEA) type is the most common genetic disorder in the Asian population. Couples who are both carriers have a 25% chance of conceiving Bart's hydrops fetalis. Therefore, results from carrier screening and prenatal diagnosis frequently need to be available rapidly. A rapid technique for diagnosis of α-thalassemia-1 SEA type was implemented. The technique used is based on real-time gap-PCR and high resolution melting (HRM) analysis of the amplified fragment using the Rotor-Gene 6000™. The DNA samples used for amplification were obtained from whole blood, cord blood, and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). With this method, the α-thalassemia-1 SEA allele can be easily distinguished from wild type α-globin gene allele. The real-time gap-PCR and HRM analysis offers additional benefits including minimal labor, rapid turnaround time, and a decreased risk of PCR carryover contamination. It is cost-effective and safe, does not require fluorescently labeled probe and hazardous chemicals. Moreover, it is accurate showing 100% concordance with conventional gap-PCR analysis.

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