Thalassemia and hemoglobin e in southern thai blood donors.
Thalassemia and hemoglobin E (Hb E) are common in Thailand. Individuals with thalassemia trait usually have a normal hemoglobin concentration or mild anemia. Therefore, thalassemic individuals who have minimum acceptable Hb level may be accepted as blood donors. This study was aimed at determining the frequency of α-thalassemia 1 trait, β-thalassemia trait, and Hb E-related syndromes in Southern Thai blood donors. One hundred and sixteen voluntary blood donors, Southern Thailand origin, were recruited for thalassemia and Hb E screening by red blood cell indices/dichlorophenolindophenol precipitation test. β-Thalassemia and Hb E were then identified by high performance liquid chromatography and 4 common α-thalassemia deletions were characterized by a single tube-multiplex gap-polymerase chain reaction. Overall frequency of hemoglobinopathies was 12.9%, classified as follows: homozygous α-thalassemia 2 (1.7%), heterozygous α-thalassemia 1 (1.7%), heterozygous β-thalassemia without α-thalassemia (0.9%), heterozygous Hb E without α-thalassemia (5.2%), double heterozygotes for Hb E/α-thalassemia 1 (1.7%), homozygous Hb E without α-thalassemia (0.9%), and homozygous Hb E with heterozygous α-thalassemia 2 (0.9%). The usefulness of thalassemia screening is not only for receiving highly effective red blood cells in the recipients but also for encouraging the control and prevention program of thalassemia in blood donors.