Coagulation and RFLP data from 41 families with an isolated haemophilia A patient were used to estimate the sex ratio of mutation frequencies (nu/mu). Based on the results of coagulation assays in all the female relatives investigated, nu/mu was estimated to be 12.1 by the maximum likelihood method (95% confidence interval 3.8 to 62.5). In order to avoid the possible influence of germline mosaicism, an additional analysis was performed in which only the results in the mothers and grandmothers of an isolated patient were included. The nu/mu ratio was then estimated to be 5.2 (95% confidence interval 1.8 to 15.1). Because an estimate of nu/mu based on all available RFLP data can easily be biased in favour of males, we set up a model in which only information on the grandparental derivation of the patient's X chromosome was used, irrespective of the generation in which the mutation actually occurred. In this way nu/mu was estimated to be minimally 4. The probability of carriership for mothers of an isolated haemophilia A patient amounts to 86% with a sex ratio of 5.2. Although this would imply that 14% of the mothers are not carriers of the disease in the classical sense, they may be mosaic for the mutation and, therefore, also at risk of transmitting the mutation more than once.
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