[Pre-conception carrier screening for 21 inherited metabolic diseases in a Chinese population]

Zhonghua Yi Xue Yi Chuan Xue Za Zhi. 2022 Mar 10;39(3):269-275. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.cn511374-20210318-00245.
[Article in Chinese]


Objective: To determine the carrier rate for 21 inherited metabolic diseases among a Chinese population of childbearing age.

Methods: A total of 897 unrelated healthy individuals (including 143 couples) were recruited, and DNA was extracted from their peripheral blood samples. Whole exome sequencing (WES) was carried out to screen potential variants among 54 genes associated with 21 inherited metabolic diseases. Pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants and unreported loss-of-function variants were analyzed.

Results: One hundred fourty types of pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants (with an overall number of 183) and unreported loss-of-function variants were detected, which yield a frequency of 0.20 per capita. A husband and wife were both found to carry pathogenic variants of the SLC25A13 gene and have given birth to a healthy baby with the aid of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. The detected variants have involved 40 genes, with the most common ones including ATP7B, SLC25A13, PAH, CBS and MMACHC. Based on the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, the incidence of the 21 inherited metabolic diseases in the population was approximately 1/1100, with the five diseases with higher incidence including citrullinemia, methylmalonic acidemia, Wilson disease, glycogen storage disease, and phenylketonuria.

Conclusion: This study has preliminarily determined the carrier rate and incidence of 21 inherited metabolic diseases among a Chinese population of childbearing age, which has provided valuable information for the design of neonatal screening program for inherited metabolic diseases. Pre-conception carrier screening can provide an important measure for the prevention of transmission of Mendelian disorders in the population.

MeSH terms

  • Asian People / genetics
  • China
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Exome*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Metabolic Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Diseases* / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics


  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SLC25A13 protein, human
  • MMACHC protein, human
  • Oxidoreductases