Prevalence of the prothrombin G20210A mutation in the Irish populations: use of a novel polymerase chain reaction approach

W J Livingstone, B White, L Mynett-Johnson, S Cusack, M Lawler, O P Smith, Mark Lawler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The prothrombin G20210A polymorphism is associated with a threefold-increased risk of venous thrombosis. There is considerable variation in the reported prevalence of this polymorphism within normal populations, ranging from 0 to 6.5%. The prevalence within the Irish population has not been determined. A restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)-based assay is commonly used for the detection of the prothrombin 20210A allele. This assay does not include a control restriction digest fragment and, consequently, failure of the enzyme activity or lack of addition of enzyme to the sample cannot be distinguished from wild-type prothrombin. We developed a RFLP-based assay, which incorporates an invariant digest site, resulting in the generation of a control digest fragment. Furthermore, we developed a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for the amplification and digestion of poor-quality or low-concentration DNA. In the Irish population studied, five of 385 (1.29%) were heterozygous and one patient was homozygous for the prothrombin 20210A polymorphism. This is the first reported data on an Irish or Celtic population and suggests that the allele frequency is similar to Anglo-Saxon populations. The nested PCR method successfully amplified and digested 100/100 (100%) of the archived samples; none of these samples could be analyzed by the standard single-round PCR method. In conclusion, nested PCR should be considered in the analysis of archived samples. Single-round PCR is appropriate for recently collected samples; however, an invariant control digest site should be incorporated in RFLP-based assays to validate the integrity of the digestion enzyme and limit the risk of false-negative results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-72
Number of pages4
JournalBlood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000


  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Prevalence
  • Prothrombin
  • Reference Standards
  • Thrombophilia


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of the prothrombin G20210A mutation in the Irish populations: use of a novel polymerase chain reaction approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this