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Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Suresh S.,National Cancer Institute | Fisher C.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Ayyub H.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Premawardhena A.,University of Kelaniya | And 6 more authors.
Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases | Year: 2013

The α-globin genes were studied in nine families with unexplained hypochromic anaemia and in 167 patients with HbE β thalassaemia in Sri Lanka. As well as the common deletion forms of α+ thalassaemia three families from an ethnic minority were found to carry a novel form of α0 thalassaemia, one family carried a previously reported form of α0 thalassaemia, --THAI, and five families had different forms of non-deletional thalassaemia. The patients with HbE β thalassaemia who had co-inherited α thalassaemia all showed an extremely mild phenotype and reduced levels of HbF and there was a highly significant paucity of α+ thalassaemia in these patients compared with the normal population. Extended α gene arrangements, including ααα, αααα and ααααα, occurred at a low frequency and were commoner in the more severe phenotypes of HbE β thalassaemia. As well as emphasising the ameliorating effect of α thalassaemia on HbE β thalassaemia the finding of a novel form of α0 thalassaemia in an ethnic minority, together with an unexpected diversity of forms of non-deletion α thalassaemia in Sri Lanka, further emphasises the critical importance of micro-mapping populations for determining the frequency of clinically important forms of the disease. © 2012 . Source

Jones E.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Pasricha S.-R.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Allen A.,University of Swansea | Evans P.,University College London | And 13 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2015

Hemoglobin E (HbE) β-thalassemia is the most common severe thalassemia syndrome across Asia, and millions of people are carriers.Clinical heterogeneity in HbE β-thalassemia is incompletely explained by genotype, and the interaction of phenotypic variation with hepcidin is unknown. The effect of thalassemia carriage on hepcidin is also unknown, but it could be relevant for iron supplementation programs aimed at combating anemia. In 62 of 69 Sri Lankan patients with HbE β-thalassemia with moderate or severe phenotype, hepcidin was suppressed, and overall hepcidin inversely correlated with iron accumulation. On segregating by phenotype, there were no differences in hepcidin, erythropoiesis, or hemoglobin between severe ormoderate disease, but multiple linear regression showed that erythropoiesis inversely correlated with hepcidin only in severe phenotypes. In moderate disease, no independent predictors of hepcidin were identifiable; nevertheless, the low hepcidin levels indicate a significant risk for iron overload. In a population survey of SriLankan schoolchildren, β-thalassemia (but not HbE) trait was associated with increased erythropoiesis and mildly suppressed hepcidin, suggesting an enhanced propensity to accumulate iron. In summary, the influence of erythropoiesis on hepcidin suppression associates with phenotypic disease variation and pathogenesis in HbE β-thalassemia and indicates that the epidemiology of β-thalassemia trait requires consideration when planning public health iron interventions. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Allen A.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Allen A.,University of Swansea | Fisher C.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Premawardhena A.,University of Kelaniya | And 6 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2010

Hemoglobin E β thalassemia is the commonest form of severe thalassemia in many Asian countries. Its remarkably variable clinical phenotype presents a major challenge to determining its most appropriate management. In particular, it is not clear why some patients with this condition can develop and function well at very low hemoglobin levels. Here, we demonstrate that patients with hemoglobin Eβ thalassemia have a significant decrease in the oxygen affinity of their hemoglobin, that is an increased P50 value, in response to anemia. This may in part reflect the lower level of hemoglobin F in this condition compared with other forms of β thalassemia intermedia. The ability to right-shift the oxygen dissociation curve was retained across the spectrum of mild and severe phenotypes, despite the significantly higher levels of hemoglobin F in the former, suggesting that efforts directed at producing a modest increase in the level of hemoglobin F in symptomatic patients with this disease should be of therapeutic value. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Allen A.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Allen A.,University of Swansea | Fisher C.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Premawardhena A.,University of Kelaniya | And 6 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2012

During investigations of the phenotypic diversity of hemoglobin (Hb) E β thalassemia, a patient was encountered with persistently high levels of methemoglobin associated with a left-shift in the oxygen dissociation curve, profound ascorbate deficiency, and clinical features of scurvy; these abnormalities were corrected by treatment with vitamin C. Studies of erythropoietin production before and after treatment suggested that, as in an ascorbate-deficient murine model, the human hypoxia induction factor pathway is not totally dependent on ascorbate levels. A follow-up study of 45 patients with HbE β thalassemia showed that methemoglobin levels were significantly increased and that there was also a significant reduction in plasma ascorbate levels. Haptoglobin levels were significantly reduced, and the high frequency of the 2.2 haptoglobin genotype may place an additional pressure on ascorbate as a free-radical scavenger in this population. There was, in addition, a highly significant correlation between methemoglobin levels, splenectomy, and factors that modify the degree of globin-chain imbalance. Because methemoglobin levels are modified by several mechanisms and may play a role in both adaptation to anemia and vascular damage, there is a strong case for its further study in other forms of thalassemia and sickle-cell anemia, particularly when splenic function is defective. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

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