β-thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder which reduces the production of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cell throughout the body. Hemoglobin E (HbE) is a b-structural variant of normal hemoglobin common worldwide. This HbE disorder can form a compound heterozygous state with the β-thalassemia gene, leading to life-threatening hereditary hemolytic anemia called HbE/ β-thalassemia. Screening of HbE has proven to be a challenging practice in prevention and control of the HbE/ β–thalassemia.
A convenient, ready- to-use screening test kit to screen HbE has been developed, using diethyl aminoethyl (DEAE)-cellulose resin. Accuracy and efficiency of the established method in detecting HbE is comparable with the standard cellulose acetate electrophoresis method. This method is inexpensive and simple with no requirement of sophisticated equipment. The method is highly suitable for mass population screening for HbE, particularly in small health care facilities.
This technology is under the licensing negotiation with a Thai company.