Fabry disease

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What is the connection between Fabry disease and pirates?

When newborn screening for Fabry disease began Taiwan, the testing found an unexpected high number of babies with a late-onset Fabry-causing pathogenic change or variant in the GLA gene called c.640-801GtoA (also known as IVS4+919GtoA and c.639+919GtoA). Further research in the ancestry of these families found that the gene change was originally brought to the island of Taiwan by a group of seafaring Han Chinese pirates lead by Chief pirate Wang Zhi in the 16th century. It is believed that this group traveled through several ports and countries and expanded the population of individuals with Fabry disease throughout the region.

Lin HY, Chong KW, Hsu JH, Yu HC, Shih CC, Huang CH, Lin SJ, Chen CH, Chiang CC, Ho HJ, Lee PC, Kao CH, Cheng KH, Hsueh C, Niu DM. High incidence of the cardiac variant of Fabry disease revealed by newborn screening in the Taiwan Chinese population. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2009;2:450-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20031620

Fabry disease revisited: Management and treatment recommendations for adult patients. Ortiz A, Germain DP, Desnick RJ, Politei J, Mauer M, Burlina A, Eng C, Hopkin RJ, Laney D, Linhart A, Waldek S, Wallace E, Weidemann F, Wilcox WR. Mol Genet Metab. 2018 Apr;123(4):416-427. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2018.02.014. Epub 2018 Feb 28. Review. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1096719217307680?via%3Dihub Retrieved 12DEC19.

Kris E Lane, Kris Lane, Robert M. Levine. Pillaging the Empire: Global Piracy on the High Seas, 1500-1750. Routledge, Jul 24, 2015

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