Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common hereditary disorders among Caucasians. In such populations a highly prevalent mutation causing CF, ΔF508, has been identified. It comprises 88% of Danish CF mutations. This mutation and five others account for 90% of all CF mutations, making carrier screening on a population basis worthy of consideration. We have therefore performed a pilot screening programme for CF carriers among pregnant women. From June 1, 1990, for the following 2 years, 6,599 women were tested: 172 were heterozygous for ΔF508. Three of 162 partners tested were also heterozygous for ΔF508. After genetic counselling all three couples at risk for having a child with CF requested prenatal diagnosis. One fetus was homozygous for ΔF508, and the pregnancy was terminated. With currently available techniques, the screening programme presented here causes no practical problems,and screening for CF carriers can easily be run on a larger scale.

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