Neonatal screening for biotinidase deficiency: Results of a 1-year pilot study

Gregory S. Heard, Barry Wolf, Linda G. Jefferson, Karen A. Weissbecker, Walter E. Nance, Julie R. Secor McVory, Anthony Napolitano, Paige L. Mitchell, Frank W. Lambert, Alice S. Linyear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We screened 81,243 infants born in Virginia during the 1-year period beginning Jan. 24, 1984, for deficiency of the enzyme biotinidase. A simple colorimetric screening procedure was used to detect the presence or absence of blotinidase activity on the same blood-soaked filter paper cards that are currently used in most neonatal metabolic screening programs. Two newborn infants with biotinidase deficiency were identified during the 12-month pilot study. In addition, two affected siblings of one of the newborn infants were detected through secondary family screening. On the basis of these results, the disorder appears to be at least as frequent as several others for which newborn screening is currently conducted. There were no known false-negative test results, and only 0.09% false-positive results that necessitated requests for second blood samples. False-positive test results can be readily identified by the use of a quantitative assay, which can also be used to confirm the diagnosis and to detect heterozygous family members in the case of true positives. On the basis of currently recognized criteria, biotinidase deficiency should be considered for inclusion among the metabolic disorders for which screening is performed in the neonatal period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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