Population genomics in South East Asia captures unexpectedly high carrier frequency for treatable inherited disorders.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Genomic studies have demonstrated the necessity of ethnicity-specific population data to ascertain variant pathogenicity for disease diagnosis and treatment. This study examined the carrier prevalence of treatable inherited disorders (TIDs), where early diagnosis of at-risk offspring can significantly improve clinical outcomes. METHODS: Existing exome/ genome sequencing data of 831 Singaporeans were aggregated and examined for disease causing variants in 104 genes associated with 80 TIDs. RESULTS: Among the 831 Singaporean participants, genomic variant filtering and analysis identified 1 in 18 individuals (6%) to be carriers amongst one of 13 TIDs. Citrin deficiency and Wilson disease had the highest carrier frequency of 1 in 41, and 1 in 103 individuals, respectively. The pathogenic variants associated with citrin deficiency were 24 times more prevalent in our local cohorts when compared to Western cohorts. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the value of a population specific genomic database to determine true disease prevalence and has enabled the discovery of carrier frequencies of treatable genetic conditions specific to South East Asian populations, which are currently underestimated in existing data sources. This study framework can be adapted to other population groups and expanded to multiple genetic conditions to inform health policies directing precision medicine.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bylstra, Y; Kuan, JL; Lim, WK; Bhalshankar, JD; Teo, JX; Davila, S; Teh, BT; Rozen, S; Tan, E-C; Liew, WKM; Yeo, KK; Tan, P; SinGapore Incidental Finding (SGIF) study group, ; Saw, SM; Cheng, C-Y; Cook, S; Foo, R; Jamuar, SS

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 207 - 212

PubMed ID

  • 29961769

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-0366

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41436-018-0008-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States