Overview on the first human cytogenetic research in Sudan

  • Mona Ellaithi International University of Africa, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khartoum, Sudan
  • David Gisselsson Department of Clinical Genetics, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
  • Therese Nilsson Department of Clinical Genetics, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
  • Atif Elagib Tropical Medicine Research Institute, The National Laboratory, Khartoum, Sudan
  • Imad Fadl-Elmula Al Neelain University, P. O. Box 12864 Khartoum, Sudan


Introduction: The present study is the first human cytogenetic project in Sudan which was titled: Cytogenetic and FISH analyses in Sudanese patients with dysmorphic features, ambiguous genitalia, and infertility. The aim of the present study was not only to characterize the genetic alterations in patients with dysmorphic features, ambiguous genitalia and/or infertility among Sudanese population, but also to attract the medical community attention to the importance of human cytogenetics in clinical genetics practice, and also to facilitate the introduction and clinical application of such valuable service in Sudan.

Materials and Methods: In this study chromosomal G–banding and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) analysis were performed on 44 Sudanese patients, 29 females, 14 males, and one patient with unassigned sex. Patients age ranging between 17 days-39 years (mean 18 years), Of the 44 patients, 20 had ambiguous genitalia, 8 dysmorphic features, 11 have puberty and/or fertility complains, and 5 were healthy individual (parents of 3 patients with dysmorphic features).

Results: Cytogenetic analysis of 20 patients complaining of ambiguous genitalia (13 females and 6 males, and one case with unassigned sex) showed that 8 has karyotypes different from their assigned sex and the other cases showed karyotypes consistent with Edward syndrome (47,XX,+18) (case 7), and a case with 45,Xdel(X)(p11) (case 11) respectively, when using FISH the 45,Xdel(X)(p11) case showed translocation of the SRY (sex-determining region Y), gene to the active X chromosome. For the 8 patients of dysmorphic features; five showed karyotypes consistent with Down syndrome, of which one showed Robertsonian translocation, with both FISH and ordinary G-banding, and the other three showed normal karyotypes. All the parents showed normal karyotypes. Among the infertility cases all showed normal karyotypes, except for two which showed karyotypes consistent with Turner syndrome and one which showed a male karyotype although the case was raised as a female; ultrasound showed a mass in the position of prostate.

Discussion: The study, the ever first one in Sudan, assured the importance, the possibility, and the need for cytogenetic and FISH analysis in diagnosis, management and genetic counseling of genetic diseases caused by constitutional chromosomal changes among Sudanese patients.

Sudan Journal of Medical Sciences Vol. 1(1) 2006: 25-33

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eISSN: 1858-5051