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      Diagnosing Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency Using A PCR/Luminescence-Based Technology

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          Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a rare hereditary condition resulting from the mutations in the SERPINA1 (serine protease inhibitor) gene and is characterized by low circulating levels of the alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) protein. The traditional algorithm for laboratory testing of AATD involves the analysis of AAT concentrations (nephelometry), phenotyping (isoelectric focusing, IEF), and genotyping (polymerase chain reaction, PCR); in selected cases, full sequencing of the SERPINA1 gene can be undertaken. New technologies arise that may make diagnosis easier and faster.


          We developed and evaluated a new diagnostic algorithm based on Luminex xMAP (multi-analyte profiling) technology using Progenika A1AT Genotyping Test. In an initial learning phase, 1979 samples from individuals suspected of having AATD were examined by both, a traditional and a “new” algorithm. In a second phase, 1133 samples were analyzed with the Luminex xMAP only.


          By introducing a Luminex xMAP based algorithm, we were able to simultaneously identify 14 mutations in SERPINA1 gene (instead of two- S and Z-by using our old algorithm). Although the quantity of IEF assays remained unchanged, the nephelometric measurements and sequencing were reduced by 79% and 63.4%, respectively.


          The new method is convenient, fast and user-friendly. The application of the Luminex xMAP technology can simplify and shorten the diagnostic workup of patients with suspected AATD.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Applications of Luminex® xMAP™ technology for rapid, high-throughput multiplexed nucleic acid detection

          Background As we enter the post-genome sequencing era and begin to sift through the enormous amount of genetic information now available, the need for technologies that allow rapid, cost-effective, high-throughput detection of specific nucleic acid sequences becomes apparent. Multiplexing technologies, which allow for simultaneous detection of multiple nucleic acid sequences in a single reaction, can greatly reduce the time, cost and labor associated with single reaction detection technologies. Methods The Luminex® xMAP™ system is a multiplexed microsphere-based suspension array platform capable of analyzing and reporting up to 100 different reactions in a single reaction vessel. This technology provides a new platform for high-throughput nucleic acid detection and is being utilized with increasing frequency. Here we review specific applications of xMAP technology for nucleic acid detection in the areas of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, genetic disease screening, gene expression profiling, HLA DNA typing and microbial detection. Conclusions These studies demonstrate the speed, efficiency and utility of xMAP technology for simultaneous, rapid, sensitive and specific nucleic acid detection, and its capability to meet the current and future requirements of the molecular laboratory for high-throughput nucleic acid detection.
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            Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency.

            Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic disorder that affects about one in 2000-5000 individuals. It is clinically characterised by liver disease and early-onset emphysema. Although alpha1 antitrypsin is mainly produced in the liver, its main function is to protect the lung against proteolytic damage from neutrophil elastase. The most frequent mutation that causes severe alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency arises in the SERPINA 1 gene and gives rise to the Z allele. This mutation reduces concentrations in serum of alpha1 antitrypsin by retaining polymerised molecules within hepatocytes: an amount below the serum protective threshold of 11 micromol/L increases risk for emphysema. In addition to the usual treatments for emphysema, infusion of purified alpha1 antitrypsin from pooled human plasma represents a specific treatment and raises the concentrations in serum and epithelial-lining fluid above the protective threshold. Evidence suggests that this approach is safe, slows the decline of lung function, could reduce infection rates, and might enhance survival. However, uncertainty about the cost-effectiveness of this expensive treatment remains.
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              Soluble Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-Products Predicts Impaired Alveolar Fluid Clearance in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

              Levels of the soluble form of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (sRAGE) are elevated during acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and correlate with severity and prognosis. Alveolar fluid clearance (AFC) is necessary for the resolution of lung edema but is impaired in most patients with ARDS. No reliable marker of this process has been investigated to date.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                18 November 2019
                : 14
                : 2535-2542
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Member of the German Center for Lung Research Marburg, University Medical Center Giessen And Marburg , Germany
                [2 ]Progenika Biopharma, S.A. A Grifols Company , Derio, Bizkaia, Spain
                [3 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Hannover Medical School, Biomedical Research in End Stage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover (BREATH) , Hannover 30625, Germany
                [4 ]Department of Internal Medicine V, Pulmonology, Allergology, Respiratory and Intensive Care Medicine, Saarland Hospital , Homburg/Saar, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Martina Veith Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Member of the German Center for Lung Research Marburg, University Medical Center Giessen and Marburg , GermanyTel +49 642 1586 4723Fax +49 642 158 6370 Email
                © 2019 Veith et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 22, Pages: 8

                Respiratory medicine

                luminex xmap technology, serpina1, diagnosis, mutations


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