Lactose intolerance genetic testing: is it useful as routine screening? Results on 1426 south-central Italy patients.

Research paper by Concetta C Santonocito, Margherita M Scapaticci, Donatella D Guarino, Eleonora Brigida EB Annicchiarico, Rosalia R Lisci, Romina R Penitente, Antonio A Gasbarrini, Cecilia C Zuppi, Ettore E Capoluongo

Indexed on: 05 Oct '14Published on: 05 Oct '14Published in: Clinica Chimica Acta


Adult-type hypolactasia is a widespread condition throughout the world, causing lactose malabsorption. Several studies suggested that the identification of C/T-13910 and G/A-22018 mutations, located upstream the gene encoding the lactase-phlorizin hydrolase (LPH), is a useful tool for the differential diagnosis of hypolactasia. We evaluated the frequencies of C/T-13910 and G/A-22018 variants in a central-south Italian population and the usefulness of lactase deficiency genetic testing in the clinic practice. The genomic DNA of 1426 patients and 1000 healthy controls from central-south Italy was isolated from peripheral whole blood and genotyped for the C/T-13910 and G/A-22018 polymorphisms by high-resolution melting analysis (HRMA) and sequencing. The frequencies of genotypes in the 1426 patients analysed were as follows: 1077 CC/GG (75.5%), 287 CT/GA (20.1%), 24 TT/AA (1.7%), 38 CC/GA (2.7%). Only 64 out of 1426 (4.5%) performed also L-BHT test, 29 of which were negative for L-BHT also in presence of different genotypes. Among the 35 individuals with L-BHT positive, 34 were CC/GG and only one CT/GA. Although lactose genetic test is a good predictor of persistence/non-persistence lactase in specific population, its use in the central-south Italy population should be limited given the high prevalence of the CCGG diplotype in normal individuals.