Abstract

Two new methods were used to establish a rapid and highly sensitive prenatal diagnostic test for sickle cell anemia. The first involves the primer-mediated enzymatic amplification of specific beta-globin target sequences in genomic DNA, resulting in the exponential increase (220,000 times) of target DNA copies. In the second technique, the presence of the beta A and beta S alleles is determined by restriction endonuclease digestion of an end-labeled oligonucleotide probe hybridized in solution to the amplified beta-globin sequences. The beta-globin genotype can be determined in less than 1 day on samples containing significantly less than 1 microgram of genomic DNA.

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