DOI: 10.1002/mgg3.2270 ISSN:

A new line method; A direct test in spinal muscular atrophy screening for DBS

Ayhan Kubar, Sehime Gülsüm Temel, Serdar Beken, Gizem Onder, Ozden Hatirnaz, Ayse Korkmaz, Yasemin Alanay, Ugur Ozbek, Sebnem Ozemri Sag, Mahmut Cerkez Ergoren, Elif Kubar, Candan Zeynep Sonmezalp, Ozlem Doğan
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology



Nucleic acid‐based assays provide an opportunity to screen for genetically encoded diseases like spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), before the onset of symptoms. Nowadays, such assays could be easily utilized as high‐throughputs in SMA to detect a homozygous deletion of exon 7 of the survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1) that is responsible for >95% of SMA patients.


We developed a new line method (NLM) as a direct real time PCR test procedure without nucleic acid extraction in dried blood spots (DBS) to screen for homozygous deletion of exon 7 of the SMN1 gene. Performance of this setup was evaluated on 580 DBS newborn samples and air dried 50 DBS from whole blood including 20 samples for homozygous deletion of the SMN1 gene detected earlier with MLPA.


We found all 580 newborn DBS samples as wild type. DBS prepared from 50 whole blood samples also including 20 affected people were correctly identified as homozygous deletions and 30 wild types of exon 7 of SMN1 as before with MLPA. When the MLPA method was taken as the gold standard, the sensitivity and specificity of the NLM test were found 100% for the detection of SMN1 exon 7 homozygous deletion.


In the NLM, the total test duration has been reduced to less than 75 min without requiring any extra process such as DNA extraction step and sample plate preparation after the punching step. Thereby, newborn SMA screening with the NLM has gained an environmentally friendly feature with not requiring additional tedious steps.

More from our Archive