Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Newborn Screening for Krabbe Disease—Illinois Experience: Role of Psychosine in Diagnosis of the Disease
Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2021, 7(2), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijns7020024 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
Population-based newborn screening for Krabbe disease was initiated by measurement of galactocerebrosidase (GALC) activity in the state of Illinois in December 2017. Due to the poor specificity of GALC for the diagnosis of Krabbe disease, second-tier testing services were provided to reduce the [...] Read more.
Population-based newborn screening for Krabbe disease was initiated by measurement of galactocerebrosidase (GALC) activity in the state of Illinois in December 2017. Due to the poor specificity of GALC for the diagnosis of Krabbe disease, second-tier testing services were provided to reduce the false positive rates for disease monitoring. Using ultra-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry assay, a total of 497,147 newborns were screened. In total, 288 infants’ specimens (0.06%) having reduced GALC activity were sent out for second-tier testing to a reference laboratory. All newborns’ reduced GALC specimens were tested for psychosine levels, the presence of a 30-kb deletion and GALC sequencing. The results showed that two infants had elevated psychosine levels (10 and 35 nM) and were referred immediately for evaluation and treatment for Infantile Krabbe disease, and six infants had intermediate PSY levels (≥2 to 5 nM) and are under observation as suspected candidates for late-onset Krabbe disease. In addition, 178 infants had pseudodeficiency alleles, all having psychosine levels < 2.0 nM. Our data show that a high percentage of reduced GALC activity (62%) was due to the presence of pseudodeficiency alleles in the GALC gene. In conclusion, incorporation of psychosine measurements can identify infants with infantile Krabbe disease and probable late-onset Krabbe infants. Furthermore, Krabbe disease screening can be achieved at public health laboratories, and infants with infantile Krabbe disease can be diagnosed in timely manner for better outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newborn Screening and Follow-Up Diagnostic Testing for Krabbe Disease)
Article
A Voluntary Statewide Newborn Screening Pilot for Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Results from Early Check
Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2021, 7(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijns7010020 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
Prior to statewide newborn screening (NBS) for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in North Carolina, U.S.A., we offered voluntary screening through the Early Check (EC) research study. Here, we describe the EC experience from October 2018 through December 2020. We enrolled a total of [...] Read more.
Prior to statewide newborn screening (NBS) for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in North Carolina, U.S.A., we offered voluntary screening through the Early Check (EC) research study. Here, we describe the EC experience from October 2018 through December 2020. We enrolled a total of 12,065 newborns and identified one newborn with 0 copies of SMN1 and two copies of SMN2, consistent with severe early onset of SMA. We also detected one false positive result, likely stemming from an unrelated blood disorder associated with a low white blood cell count. We evaluated the timing of NBS for babies enrolled prenatally (n = 932) and postnatally (n = 11,133) and reasons for delays in screening and reporting. Although prenatal enrollment led to faster return of results (median = 13 days after birth), results for babies enrolled postnatally were still available within a timeframe (median = 21 days after birth) that allowed the opportunity to receive essential treatment early in life. We evaluated an SMA q-PCR screening method at two separate time points, confirming the robustness of the assay. The pilot project provided important information about SMA screening in anticipation of forthcoming statewide expansion as part of regular NBS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newborn Screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy)
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Article
Neonatal Urine Screening Program in the Province of Quebec: Technological Upgrade from Thin Layer Chromatography to Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2021, 7(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijns7010018 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Quebec Neonatal Urine Screening Program was initiated in 1971 with overall screening inception of newborns in 1973. Forty-seven years later, over 3.5 million babies have been screened for up to 25 inborn errors of metabolism divided into two groups: (1) urea cycle [...] Read more.
The Quebec Neonatal Urine Screening Program was initiated in 1971 with overall screening inception of newborns in 1973. Forty-seven years later, over 3.5 million babies have been screened for up to 25 inborn errors of metabolism divided into two groups: (1) urea cycle disorders and organic acidurias; and (2) disorders of amino acid metabolism and transport. The main goal of this preventive genetic medicine program is the detection of treatable diseases before the onset of clinical symptoms. Urine specimens from 21-day-old babies are collected and dried on filter paper by parents at home. The participation is voluntary with a high compliance rate over the years (~90%). Specimens are analyzed by thin layer chromatography (TLC). The main objective of this evaluative research project was to assess the feasibility of a technological upgrade towards mass spectrometry. A 2.85-min flow injection method was devised, normal values established, and abnormal profiles confirmed using second-tier tests. The validated assays are sensitive, specific, and suitable for populational screening, as well as for high-risk screening laboratories. Triple H syndrome, which would not be detected in newborns by blood screening at two days of age was found to be positive in the urine of an affected patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tandem Mass Spectrometry in Newborn Screening)
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Article
We All Have a Role to Play: Redressing Inequities for Children Living with CAH and Other Chronic Health Conditions of Childhood in Resource-Poor Settings
Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2020, 6(4), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijns6040076 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
CLAN (Caring and Living as Neighbours) is an Australian-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to equity for children living with chronic health conditions in resource-poor settings. Since 2004, CLAN has collaborated with a broad range of partners across the Asia Pacific region to improve [...] Read more.
CLAN (Caring and Living as Neighbours) is an Australian-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to equity for children living with chronic health conditions in resource-poor settings. Since 2004, CLAN has collaborated with a broad range of partners across the Asia Pacific region to improve quality of life for children living with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This exploratory case study uses the Knowledge to Action (KTA) framework to analyse CLAN’s activities for children living with CAH in the Asia Pacific. The seven stages of the KTA action cycle inform a systematic examination of comprehensive, collaborative, sustained actions to address a complex health challenge. The KTA framework demonstrates the “how” of CLAN’s approach to knowledge creation and exchange, and the centrality of community development to multisectoral collaborative action across a range of conditions, cultures and countries to redressing child health inequities. This includes a commitment to: affordable access to essential medicines and equipment; education, research and advocacy; optimisation of medical management; encouragement of family support groups; efforts to reduce financial burdens; and ethical, transparent program management as critical components of success. Improvements in quality of life and health outcomes are achievable for children living with CAH and other chronic health conditions in resource-poor settings. CLAN’s strategic framework for action offers a model for those committed to #LeaveNoChildBehind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CAH Screening—Challenges and Opportunities)
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Case Report
Low Psychosine in Krabbe Disease with Onset in Late Infancy: A Case Report
Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2021, 7(2), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijns7020028 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Krabbe disease (KD) is a rare inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by a deficiency in galactocerebrosidase enzyme activity, which can present in early infancy, requiring an urgent referral for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, or later in life. Newborn screening (NBS) for KD requires identification [...] Read more.
Krabbe disease (KD) is a rare inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by a deficiency in galactocerebrosidase enzyme activity, which can present in early infancy, requiring an urgent referral for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, or later in life. Newborn screening (NBS) for KD requires identification and risk-stratification of patients based on laboratory values to predict disease onset in early infancy or later in life. The biomarker psychosine plays a key role in NBS algorithms to ascertain probability of early-onset disease. This report describes a patient who was screened positive for KD in New York State, had a likely pathogenic genotype, and showed markedly reduced enzyme activity but surprisingly low psychosine levels. The patient ultimately developed KD in late infancy, an outcome not clearly predicted by existing NBS algorithms. It remains critical that psychosine levels be evaluated alongside genotype, enzyme activity levels, and the patient’s evolving clinical presentation, ideally in consultation with experts in KD, in order to guide diagnosis and plans for monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newborn Screening and Follow-Up Diagnostic Testing for Krabbe Disease)
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