Mutations causing profound biotinidase deficiency in children ascertained by newborn screening in the United States occur at different frequencies than in symptomatic children

Pediatr Res. 1999 Jul;46(1):20-7. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199907000-00004.


Biotinidase deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder of biotin metabolism that can lead to varying degrees of neurologic and cutaneous symptoms when untreated. Because this disorder meets the criteria for newborn screening, many states and countries perform this testing. Because newborn screening should result in complete ascertainment of mutations causing profound biotinidase deficiency (less than 10% of mean normal serum activity), we compared the mutations in a group of 59 children with profound biotinidase deficiency who were identified by newborn screening in the United States with 33 children ascertained by exhibiting symptoms. Of the 40 total mutations identified among the two populations, four mutations comprise 59% of the disease alleles studied. Two of these mutations occur in both populations, but in the symptomatic group at a significantly greater frequency. The other two common mutations occur only in the newborn screening group. Because two common mutations do not occur in the symptomatic population, it is possible that individuals with these mutations either develop mild or no symptoms if left untreated. However, inasmuch as biotin treatment is inexpensive and innocuous, it is still recommended that all children with profound biotinidase deficiency be treated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amidohydrolases / deficiency*
  • Amidohydrolases / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Biotinidase
  • Frameshift Mutation
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Multiple Carboxylase Deficiency / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Carboxylase Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Multiple Carboxylase Deficiency / genetics
  • Mutation*
  • Neonatal Screening*
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Amidohydrolases
  • Biotinidase