Incidence of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency among Swedish Newborn Infants

Int J Neonatal Screen. 2019 Oct 29;5(4):38. doi: 10.3390/ijns5040038. eCollection 2019 Dec.


Sweden has 10.2 million inhabitants and more than 2.4 million have a foreign background. A substantial number of immigrants come from countries where glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDD) is frequent. The total birth rate annually in Sweden is approximately 117,000 and newborn screening is centralized to one laboratory. We determined glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity in 10,098 dried blood spot samples (DBS) from the whole country with a fluorometric assay (LabSystems Diagnostics Oy, Finland). The first 5451 samples were anonymised and run as singletons, whilst the following 4647 samples were coded. Enzyme activity ≤40% of the mean of the day was found in 58 samples (1/170) and among these, 29 had activities ≤10% (1/350). Twenty-nine samples with residual activities between 2-39% in the coded cohort were subjected to Sanger sequencing. Disease-causing variants were identified in 26 out of 29 infants, of which six were girls. In three patients, we did not find any disease-causing variants, although two patients were hemizygous for the known polymorphisms c.1311T>C and c.1365-13C>T. The most common disease-causing variant found in 15 of the 29 samples (12 hemizygotes, two heterozygotes, one homozygote) was the Mediterranean mutation, c.563C>T (p.(Ser188Phe)) in exon 6. G6PDD is thus a surprisingly prevalent disorder in Sweden.

Keywords: glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; mutations; newborn screening.