Screening of CFTR mutations in an isolated population: Identification of carriers and patients

Ornit Chiba-Falek, Malka Nissim-Rafinia, Zvi Argaman, Adnan Genem*, Ilana Moran, Eitan Kerem, Batsheva Kerem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


One important application of the identification of disease-causing mutations is carrier screening in the general population. Such a project requires a simple accurate test by which a large proportion of the mutations can be identified. This study describes screening for CFTR mutations in an isolated Israeli Arab village. Two mutations, G85E and Δ508, accounted for all the CF alleles of these patients. The screening program tested for these two mutations, as well as the 5T allele, which has recently been shown to down-regulate the CFTR expression and cause variable phenotype. The screened population comprised 497 students from one school, which all the children of the village attend. The results revealed high carrier frequency, 8.5%, for the two CFTR mutations, G85E and ΔF508, and a carrier frequency of 12% for the 5T allele. Two compound heterozygotes for the CFTR mutations, ΔF508/G85E and G85E/5T, were identified. Both of these students had not been diagnosed previously as having CF since their disease presentation was not typical of CF. The CF incidence in this village was found to be extremely high, 1:72 life births. The screening results were reported to the physicians of the village to be used, upon request, for genetic counselling. This study emphasizes the importance of such programs for the identification of non-classical patients and for carrier detection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)181-184
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Israel Ministry of Health to B Kerem.


  • CFTR mutations
  • Carrier frequency
  • Disease frequency
  • Genetic diagnosis
  • Genetic disease screening
  • Isolated population


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