Two loci for nonsyndromic recessive deafness located on chromosome 21q22.3 have previously been reported, DFNB8 and DFNB10. Recently a gene which encodes a transmembrane serine protease, TMPRSS3 or ECHOS1, was found to be responsible for both the DFNB8 and DFNB10 phenotypes. To determine the contribution of TMPRSS3 mutations in the general congenital/childhood nonsyndromic deaf population we performed mutation analysis of the TMPRSS3 gene in 448 unrelated deaf patients from Spain, Italy, Greece, and Australia who did not have the common 35delG GJB2 mutation. From the 896 chromosomes studied we identified two novel pathogenic mutations accounting for four mutant alleles and at least 16 nonpathogenic sequence variants. The pathogenic mutations were a 1-bp deletion resulting in a frameshift and an amino acid substitution in the LDLRA domain of TMPRSS3. From this and another study we estimate the frequency of TMPRSS3 mutations in our sample as 0.45%, and approximately 0.38% in the general Caucasian childhood deaf population. However, TMPRSS3 is still an important contributor to genetic deafness in populations with large consanguineous families.