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Prevalence and allele frequency of Congenital Colour Vision Deficiency (CCVD) among students at Hawassa University, Ethiopia

Prevalence and allele frequency of Congenital Colour Vision Deficiency (CCVD) among students at... Background: The prevalence of congenital colour vision deficiency (CCVD) varies from race to race and differs in different geographic regions. Colour vision deficiency or colour blindness, is the inability or decreased ability of discriminating certain colour combinations and colour differences under normal lighting conditions. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of congenital colour vision deficiency among students at Hawassa University. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was employed involving 4004 students (females = 1171 and males = 2833) from four campuses, namely, Institutes of Technology, College of Health Science and Medicine, College of Agriculture and Main Campus. The Ishihara pseudo-isochromatic 24 plate edition was used to test the colour vision of students under natural day light condition. Results: The prevalence of CCVD in the present study was 2.85%. A hundred and six (3.75%) males and eight (0.68%) females were affected with congenital colour vision deficiency. The frequencies of achromacy, deutan and protan in male subjects were 4 (0.14%), 82 (2.89%), and 24 (0.85%), respectively. Deutan was highest among students of Amhara ethnic origin (38, 2.51%), but the frequency of protan was highest amongst Oromo students (10, 0.8%). Conclusion and recommendations: The overall prevalence of CCVD found in the present study was lower compared to the previous studies done in Ethiopia. There was clear variation in the prevalence of colour vision deficiency among students of various ethnic groups. Proper screening, education and counseling are needed to minimize impacts of CCVD in the country, and can also be beneficial for the affected subject in tackling difficulties in everyday work and for proper choice of future profession. Keywords: Colour vision deficiency, Deutan, Protan, Red-green deficiency, X-linked recessive 1 Introduction congenital and permanent, but rarely it may be acquired Normal colour vision in humans is mediated by the [2, 3]. Red-green defects (Protan and Deutan) show the three classes of cone photoreceptors (trichromatic highest prevalence in the general population. Red-green colour vision): the blue or shortwave-sensitive (S), the colour blindness, is genetically determined by X-linked green or middle-wave-sensitive (M), and red or long- recessive gene [4]. The genes causing red-green defects wave-sensitive (L) [1]. Colour vision deficiency (CVD), is are localized to the long arm of the X chromosome at the inability or decreased ability to discriminate certain Xq28 [5–8], whereas the blue pigment gene is located colour combinations and colour differences under nor- on an autosome, chromosome 7 at 7q32 [7–10]. Green mal lighting conditions. Most colour vision defects are pigment genes vary in number among colour-normal in- dividuals and, together with a single red pigment gene, are proposed to reside in a head-to-tail tandem array * Correspondence: basliel2018@gmail.com Department of Biology, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia within the X chromosome [9]. Acquired CVD may be Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 2 of 6 caused due to factors such as damage to the optic incomplete data. Furthermore, study subjects were from nerves, metabolic disorders (e.g., diabetes), eye diseases 35 ethnic groups. (e.g., glaucoma, macular degeneration), chronic illness (e.g., sickle cell anemia), drug overdose (e.g., barbitu- 2.3 Congenital colour vision deficiency test rates, digoxin, anti-tubercular drugs) [11]. The Ishihara pseudo-isochromatic plates were used to The prevalence of colour congenital blindness varies assess the colour vision of students under natural day from race to race and differs in different geographic light condition. The numbered plates of the Ishihara areas. For example, the prevalence is 3.36% in Saudi Ara- chart were used and the abnormalities were judged fol- bia [12], 5.28 %, in Manipur (India) [13], 3.28% in She- lowing Ishihara’s recommendation [29]. The colour vi- khan City/Kurdistan region (Iraq) [14], 4.10% in Welkite sion testing plates were held at 75 cm from the subject town (central Ethiopia) [15] and 2.50% in Bhopal (India) and tilted at right angles to the line of vision. The study [16]. For the gene being X-linked, the frequency of subject was asked to read the numbers seen in the test CCVDs varies between males and females and it is usu- plates 1 to 17. An assessment of the reading of plates 1 ally more frequent in males. The prevalence of CCVD in to 15 determines the normality or defectiveness of males is 5.58% in Nepal [17], 8.47% in Erbil City (Iraq) colour vision. If 13 or more plates are read correctly, the [18] and 4.2 % in Bhopal (India) [16]. The prevalence of colour vision is regarded as normal. If only 9 or fewer CCVDs varies among females from population to popu- plates are read correctly, the colour vision was regarded lation, for example, 0.46 % among the Basque population as red-green deficient. Achromacy subjects read cor- (Spain) [19], 0.75% in Saudi Arabia [12], and 0.93% in rectly plate one only. The plates 16 and 17 are used to Qazvin (Iran) [20]. differentiate deutan and protan types of colour vision People with defective colour vision are at a disadvan- efficiency. tage, especially for employment in professions like pilots, drivers, in defense services and in technical fields like 2.4 Statistical analysis engineering and the medical profession [17, 21]. In Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS version addition, in some fields of studies such as electrical en- 20 [30]. The Chi-square (χ ) test was done to determine gineering, agriculture, laboratory, forensic sciences, whether there was a significant difference between sexes chemical engineering, soil engineering and architectural and between ethnic groups. engineering normal colour vision is important [2, 13, 22]. In Ethiopia, there are a limited number of studies 2.5 Allele frequency analysis done to assess the prevalence of congenital colour vision Assuming that the populations are non-consanguineous, deficiency and its potential professional impacts [23–28]. the frequencies of the normal allele (p), deutan allele (q) The objective of the present study was to assess the and protan allele (s) for colour blind subjects were calcu- prevalence and allele frequencies of red-green colour vi- lated based on the Hardy–Weinberg law using the gene sion defects among students at Hawassa University, counting method as was done by Shah et al. [13]. The Ethiopia. expected allele frequencies of females were calculated based on the affected males’ allele frequencies but the actual allele frequencies of females were calculated based 2 Materials and methods on the affected females. 2.1 Study area The study was conducted at Hawassa University focus- 3 Results ing on undergraduate and postgraduate students from 3.1 Phenotypic frequency of congenital colour vision four campuses, namely; Institute of Technology, College deficiency of Health Science and Medicine, College of Agriculture A total of 4004 study subjects took part in this study out and the Main campus. of which 1171 (29.25%) were females and 2833 (70.75%) were males. The age of the study subjects ranged from 2.2 Research design and study subjects 18 to 47 years with a mean of 21.25 ± 2.642 years. Of the A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted to total study subjects, 114 (2.85%; 95% CI: 2.33 to 3.37) determine the prevalence of congenital colour vision de- had congenital colour vision deficiency, including 106 ficiency. The inclusion criteria were Ethiopian students, males and 8 females (Table 1). The prevalence above 18 years old, with the normal eye condition and of colour blindness in male and female students was who gave their consent. In this study, 4020 study sub- 3.75% (95% CI: 3.05 to 4.45) and 0.68%, respectively. jects participated, but only 4004 individuals (i.e. fe- In the present study, the subjects were from 35 differ- males = 1171 and males = 2833) were included for ent ethnic groups (Table 1). As the sample size of the subsequent analysis as the remaining 16 subjects had majority of ethnic groups was small (except that of Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 3 of 6 Table 1 The prevalence of congenital colour vision deficiency (CCVD) by gender and ethnic groups, Hawassa University, Ethiopia Combined Male Female Ethnic groups Normal (%) Color blind (%) Total Normal (%) Color blind (%) Total Normal (%) Color blind (%) Total Amhara 1465(96.96) 46 (3.04) 1511 1024(95.88) 44(4.12) 1068 441(99.55) 2(0.45) 443 Oromo 1109(96.94) 35 (3.06) 1144 732(96.06) 30(3.94) 762 377(98.69) 5(1.31) 382 Others† 1312(97.55) 33 (2.45) 1345 967(96.80) 32(3.20) 999 345(99.71) 1(0.29) 346 Total 3886(97.15) 114(2.85) 4000 2723(96.25) 106(3.75) 2829 1163(99.32) 8(0.68) 1171 Afar (7), Agew (4), Alle (1), Antro (3), Anyuak (4), Arri (3), Awi (3), Bench (7), Burji (1), Dawuro (21), Dorze (2), Gamo (105), Gedeo (5), Gumuz (3), Gurage (182), Hadya (93), Halaba (13), Hamar (1), Harari (1), Kafa (14), Kambata (104), Konso (4), Kore (2), Kucha (3), Nyangatom (2), Shakacho (3), Shinasha (3), Sidama (306),Silte (39), Somali (20), Tegaru (193), Wolaita (191), and Yem (3) ethnic groups. The numbers in the brackets are the percentage of sample size subjects from the respective ethnic groups Amhara and Oromo), we had combined them together ethnic origin was 0.0016 and lower compared to the ob- to have a balanced sample size. Colour blindness was served frequency (0.013). The frequency of heterozygote only recorded among subjects from 10 ethnic origins, was higher (8.00%) in Amhara and Oromo but lower namely; Amhara, Gurage, Halaba, Kafa, Kambata, among study subjects in other ethnic groups combined Oromo, Sidama, Somali, Tegaru and Wolaita. Deutan (Table 3). was highest amongst students of Amhara ethnic origin 38 (2.51%), but the frequency of protan was highest 4 Discussion amongst Oromo students 10 (0.87%). Nonetheless, the The overall prevalence of CCVD in the present study prevalences of deutan and protan were low in the other was lower compared to the previous studies such as in ethnic groups combined. The frequencies of anchro- Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 4.52%, by Abebe and Wondim- macy, deutan and protan were 4/0, 82/6 and 24/2, in kun [24], in Saudi Arabia, 3.36%, by Oriowo and Alotaibi males/females respectively (Table 2). The frequency of [12], in Manipur (India), 5.28 %, by Shah et al [13], in deutan and protan among females of the affected stu- Shekhan City/Kurdistan region (Iraq), 3.28%, by Abdul- dents was higher in Oromo ethnic origin. In this study, rahman [14], in Welkite town (central Ethiopia), 4.10%, total colour blindness was not observed in females by Woldeamanuel and Geta [15] but higher than a re- (Table 2). port in Bhopal (India), 2.50% by Gupta et al. [16]. The lower prevalence of CCVD in the present study relative 3.2 Allelic and genotypic frequency of CCVD among to other studies conducted in Ethiopia [24, 25], could be ethnic groups due to the larger sample size of the current study. In this Since males are hemizygous (i.e. having a single X study, the majority of students were unaware about chromosome), the frequency of the CCVD allele in them colour vision deficiency disease, except students from would be the same as the proportion of colour blindness Health Science and Medicine. (e.g. Amhara (44/1068 = 0.04), Oromo (30/762 = 0.04) The prevalence of CCVD recorded in males in the and the other ethnic groups (32/999 = 0.03). Similarly, present study (3.75%) was similar to the reports in western the observed (actual) frequencies in females were 0.005, Nepal (Pokhara, 3.80%) [31] and in Rajasthan (India, 0.013 and 0.003 in Amhara, Oromo and other ethnic 3.20%) [32]. Yet the frequency of CCVD recorded groups, respectively. Based on the frequencies of CCVD amongst males in this study was low relative to investiga- allele in males of the respective ethnic groups, the ex- tions in Tehran (8.20%) [33], in Denmark (8.67%) [34], in pected frequencies in females were (0.04 = 0.0016) in Nepal (5.58%) [17], in Erbil City (Iraq, 8.47%) [18]and in Amhara and Oromo and (0.03 = 0.0009) in the other Bhopal (India, 4.20 %) [16]. However, the prevalence of ethnic groups combined. In this regard, the expected fre- the CCVD (males) in the present study was higher than quency of CCVD among female students of Oromo that of India (2.30%) [35] and in Qazvin (Iran, 2.56%) [20]. Table 2 Phenotypic frequency of achromacy and the different types of CCVD among male and female students of various ethnic groups in Hawassa University, Ethiopia Ethnic Male Female groups Achromacy (%) Deutan (%) Protan (%) Total Achromacy (%) Deutan (%) Protan (%) Total Amhara 2 (0.19) 36 (3.36) 8 (0.75) 1070 0 (0.00) 2 (0.45) 0 (0.00) 443 Oromo 1 (0.13) 22 (2.88) 8 (1.05) 763 0 (0.00) 3 (0.79) 2 (0.52) 382 Others 1 (0.10) 24 (2.40) 8 (0.80) 1000 0 (0.00) 1 (0.29) 0 (0.00) 346 Total 4 (0.14) 82(2.89) 24 (0.85) 2833 0 (0.00) 6 (0.51) 2 (0.17) 1171 Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 4 of 6 Table 3 The frequencies of normal, heterozygote, double heterozygote and colour blind male and female subjects Ethnic Gender group Male Female Normal Deutan Protan Total Deutan Protan Heterozygote Double heterozygote Colour blind 2 2 2 2 Amhara 1024 36 8 1068 q = 0.001 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.08 2qs = 0.001 q + s = 0.0011 p = 0.96 q = 0.03 s = 0.01 Oromo 732 22 8 762 2 2 2 2 p = 0.96 q = 0.03 s = 0.01 q = 0.001 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.08 2qs = 0.001 q + s = 0.0011 Other 967 24 8 999 2 2 2 2 p = 0.97 q = 0.02 s = 0.01 q = 0.0004 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.06 2qs = 0.0004 q + s = 0.001 Total 2723 82 24 2829 2 2 2 2 p = 0.96 q = 0.03 s = 0.01 q = 0.001 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.08 2qs = 0.001 q + s = 0.0011 Several studies indicated that the prevalence of CCVD females) in Kurd, 9.44%/2.24% in Arabs, 8.52%/1.56% in in females is usually lower as compared to that of males Turkman, and 7.40%/1.05% in Kldan) [18]. The lower (e.g., [12, 13, 23, 31]). The prevalence of CCVD amongst frequencies of various types of CCVD in the present females in the present study was higher than in Italy study compared to Iraq [18] and India [13], could be (0.10%) [36], in northern Ethiopia (0.20%) [23], but com- due to the common practices of consanguineous mar- parable to that of Saudi Arabia (0.75%) [12] and in Qaz- riage in countries in the middle east and southeast Asia vin(Iran, 0.93%) [20]. A relatively higher frequency of [12, 13, 18, 31, 35]. In this regards, in Ethiopia consan- CCVD in females is reported by couples of studies, for guineous marriage is rare as it is not promoted because examples, in the Punjab city of India, (1.10%) [37] and of cultural, religious and legal factors. However, a couple Erbil City (Iraq, 1.37 %) [18]. However, studies con- other factors contribute for the difference in the preva- ducted in Libya [35], in western Nepal (Pokhara) [31], in lence of CCVD between populations and geographic re- Rajasthan (India) [32] reported no cases of CCVD gions, in addition to the degree of consanguineous amongst female subjects. On the contrary, studies done marriage (e.g. population movements, the molecular in Faisalabad (Pakistan) [38] and in Kolkata (West Ben- structure of gene on the X chromosome, natural selec- gal/India) [39] reported a higher prevalence of CCVD in tion). For example, increasing migration of people within females compared to males. The higher prevalence a country and across countries (e.g. in Saudi Arabia [12], amongst males as compared to females indicates the in India [13]), might indirectly lead to increase in the genetic causation of the disorder [4–10]. Congenital rate of exogamous marriages that could contribute in- colour vision deficiency is genetically determined by X- crease in the prevalence of CCVD. It is also suggested linked recessive inheritance and thus occurs in males that increase incidence of colour blindness amongst the but is transmitted via females and about 8.0% of all Caucasians may be due to difference in the molecular women are carriers [40]. pattern of X chromosome of colour vision genes. Fur- thermore, it was observed that overall frequency of The prevalence of achromacy in this study was com- colour vision defects has been observed quite low parable with Abeshge district (central Ethiopia, 0.19%) amongst scheduled tribe groups (traditionally food gath- [25] and in Ugep (Nigeria, 0.20%) [41]. On the other erers and hunters and later occupied in shifting cultiva- hand, the prevalence of deutan in males (2.89%) was tion and as agricultural laborers) from all the zones in lower compared to the northwest Ethiopia (3.20 %) [23], India followed by scheduled caste groups (about 90% of but similar to Abeshge district (2.89%) [25]. scheduled castes are agricultural laborers) which is followed by caste groups [13]. The prevalence of CCVD amongst students of Amhara (3.04%) and Oromo (3.06%) ethnic was lower compared Average heterozygosity is a measure of genetic diversity to some ethnic groups in Nepal (e.g. 5.00% in Brahman, at the population scale and indicates the average propor- 5.10% in Gurung, 9.10% in Newar and 14.30% in Darji) tion of individuals that are heterozygous for a given trait. but higher relative to other ethnic groups (e.g. 2.8% in The frequencies of CCVD alleles found in the present Chhetri and 2.1% in Magar) [31]. Furthermore, the study was lower compared to those of the frequencies re- prevalence of CCVD in males (3.75%) and females ported in five populations in Manipur (India) [13]and for (0.68%) in the present study was lower compared to vari- science students in the ASC Rahuri College (India) [42]. ous ethnic groups in Iraq (e.g. 8.45%/1.20% (males/ Furthermore, the level of heterozygosity found in the Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 5 of 6 present study amongst female students of Amhara (8%) deficiency amongst students of various ethnic groups. and Oromo (8%) ethnic origin was low compared to that Many students were unaware of colour vision deficiency of the population in India (e.g. Meitie (26.61%), Sheikh itself, except students from health science and medicine. (24.45%) [13]. In addition, the heterozygosity documented Therefore, proper screening, education and counseling are in the present study for female students was almost half of needed to minimize the influences of colour vision defi- that of the prevalence in a general population (14.70%) ciency in the country and could be beneficial to the af- [43]. Similarly, the frequency of double heterozygosity fected subject in tackling difficulties in everyday work and found in the present study for female subjects was one for proper choice of future profession. fifth of the prevalence in the general population [43]. Fe- males who had a recessive allele for deutan on one X 5 Conclusion and recommendations chromosome, but a recessive allele for protan on the sec- Anomaloscope should be used for detailed analysis of ond X chromosome are called ‘double carriers’ (or com- quantitative and qualitative anomalies in colour percep- pound heterozygote) [43]. Carroll [43] has also examined tion. However, in this study, we did not use anomalo- a female subject who had one deutan son and a protan scope which is clinically used for screening and son, which indicated her identity of double heterozygote/ diagnosis of CVD, because the instrument was not avail- double carrier. Furthermore, the identity of this subject as able in our set up. Furthermore, we were not able to both deutan and protan was also confirmed by genetic cover all the ethnic groups as it was not possible for lo- analysis. In the present analysis, we did not explicitly find gistic factors. double carrier subjects, but we do not rule out the possi- Acknowledgements bility of getting such subjects. The authors would like to thank all the participants for their cooperation and Hawassa University for giving ethical permission to conduct the research. In some jobs such as doctors, educational trainers and Authors’ contributions drivers, colour recognition is essential and hence detection RGM was involved in data collection and analyses. BST was involved in the of colour vision deficiency at an early age is useful to avoid study design, data analyses and manuscript revision and ZGT was involved in certain occupational hazards [2, 13, 21, 22]. However, in the study design, data analyses, manuscript writing and revision. All authors read and approved the manuscript. Ethiopia, early testing of colour vision deficiency is not common when students join university to study fields like Funding engineering, soil sciences, chemistry, electricity and elec- Research fund was provided by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) of Hawassa University. tronics, etc. Since colour vision deficiency is not a deadly disease, an individual can be a colour vision deficiency Availability of data and materials without noticing the scene. Unnoticed deficiency may lead The data used in this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. to professional inefficiency and some risks. A study con- ducted by Abebe and Wondmikun [24]ondefective Ethics approval and consent to participate colour perception amongst licensed car drivers in Addis The study was conducted after ethical approval (Ref. No. IRB/134/10; Date Ababa revealed a prevalence of 4.50% of colour vision im- 12/02/2018) of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Hawassa University (Ethiopia), College of Health Science and after an informed consent was pairment. Furthermore, the results showed that 31.8% of obtained from each study subject. colour blind subjects had road traffic accidents the past three years prior to the study. They have also found that Consent for publication Consent for publication is not applicable as this study did not include an examination of colour vision in driving license seekers names, images, or videos relating to individual participants. in Ethiopia does not screen out colour-blind individuals. The likelihood that colour-blind drivers would encounter Competing interests We declare that there are no conflicts of interest amongst the co-authors. All an accident is about twice as high as amongst non-colour- the co-authors have contributed from the very inception of the manuscript blind drivers [24]. Therefore, in today’s automated world, and until the final version of the manuscript. when every livelihood is connected with modern technol- Author details ogy, analysis of colour vision deficiency is indispensable to Department of Biology, Dambi Dollo University, Dambi Dollo, Ethiopia. mitigate the potential impact of colour vision deficiency 2 3 Department of Biology, Wollega University, Nekemte, Ethiopia. Department [2, 13, 21, 24]. of Biology, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. Received: 22 March 2019 Accepted: 7 February 2020 4.1 Limitations The overall prevalence of CCVD found in the present study was lower compared to the previous studies done in References 1. Agarwal S, Bansod N. Prevalence of colour blindness in school children. Int J Ethiopia. The prevalence of CCVD was highest amongst of Sci Res. 2014;3(4):175–7. males, but relatively low amongst female subjects. There 2. Cumberland P, Rahi JS, Peckham CS. 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Prevalence and allele frequency of Congenital Colour Vision Deficiency (CCVD) among students at Hawassa University, Ethiopia

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Abstract

Background: The prevalence of congenital colour vision deficiency (CCVD) varies from race to race and differs in different geographic regions. Colour vision deficiency or colour blindness, is the inability or decreased ability of discriminating certain colour combinations and colour differences under normal lighting conditions. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of congenital colour vision deficiency among students at Hawassa University. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was employed involving 4004 students (females = 1171 and males = 2833) from four campuses, namely, Institutes of Technology, College of Health Science and Medicine, College of Agriculture and Main Campus. The Ishihara pseudo-isochromatic 24 plate edition was used to test the colour vision of students under natural day light condition. Results: The prevalence of CCVD in the present study was 2.85%. A hundred and six (3.75%) males and eight (0.68%) females were affected with congenital colour vision deficiency. The frequencies of achromacy, deutan and protan in male subjects were 4 (0.14%), 82 (2.89%), and 24 (0.85%), respectively. Deutan was highest among students of Amhara ethnic origin (38, 2.51%), but the frequency of protan was highest amongst Oromo students (10, 0.8%). Conclusion and recommendations: The overall prevalence of CCVD found in the present study was lower compared to the previous studies done in Ethiopia. There was clear variation in the prevalence of colour vision deficiency among students of various ethnic groups. Proper screening, education and counseling are needed to minimize impacts of CCVD in the country, and can also be beneficial for the affected subject in tackling difficulties in everyday work and for proper choice of future profession. Keywords: Colour vision deficiency, Deutan, Protan, Red-green deficiency, X-linked recessive 1 Introduction congenital and permanent, but rarely it may be acquired Normal colour vision in humans is mediated by the [2, 3]. Red-green defects (Protan and Deutan) show the three classes of cone photoreceptors (trichromatic highest prevalence in the general population. Red-green colour vision): the blue or shortwave-sensitive (S), the colour blindness, is genetically determined by X-linked green or middle-wave-sensitive (M), and red or long- recessive gene [4]. The genes causing red-green defects wave-sensitive (L) [1]. Colour vision deficiency (CVD), is are localized to the long arm of the X chromosome at the inability or decreased ability to discriminate certain Xq28 [5–8], whereas the blue pigment gene is located colour combinations and colour differences under nor- on an autosome, chromosome 7 at 7q32 [7–10]. Green mal lighting conditions. Most colour vision defects are pigment genes vary in number among colour-normal in- dividuals and, together with a single red pigment gene, are proposed to reside in a head-to-tail tandem array * Correspondence: basliel2018@gmail.com Department of Biology, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia within the X chromosome [9]. Acquired CVD may be Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 2 of 6 caused due to factors such as damage to the optic incomplete data. Furthermore, study subjects were from nerves, metabolic disorders (e.g., diabetes), eye diseases 35 ethnic groups. (e.g., glaucoma, macular degeneration), chronic illness (e.g., sickle cell anemia), drug overdose (e.g., barbitu- 2.3 Congenital colour vision deficiency test rates, digoxin, anti-tubercular drugs) [11]. The Ishihara pseudo-isochromatic plates were used to The prevalence of colour congenital blindness varies assess the colour vision of students under natural day from race to race and differs in different geographic light condition. The numbered plates of the Ishihara areas. For example, the prevalence is 3.36% in Saudi Ara- chart were used and the abnormalities were judged fol- bia [12], 5.28 %, in Manipur (India) [13], 3.28% in She- lowing Ishihara’s recommendation [29]. The colour vi- khan City/Kurdistan region (Iraq) [14], 4.10% in Welkite sion testing plates were held at 75 cm from the subject town (central Ethiopia) [15] and 2.50% in Bhopal (India) and tilted at right angles to the line of vision. The study [16]. For the gene being X-linked, the frequency of subject was asked to read the numbers seen in the test CCVDs varies between males and females and it is usu- plates 1 to 17. An assessment of the reading of plates 1 ally more frequent in males. The prevalence of CCVD in to 15 determines the normality or defectiveness of males is 5.58% in Nepal [17], 8.47% in Erbil City (Iraq) colour vision. If 13 or more plates are read correctly, the [18] and 4.2 % in Bhopal (India) [16]. The prevalence of colour vision is regarded as normal. If only 9 or fewer CCVDs varies among females from population to popu- plates are read correctly, the colour vision was regarded lation, for example, 0.46 % among the Basque population as red-green deficient. Achromacy subjects read cor- (Spain) [19], 0.75% in Saudi Arabia [12], and 0.93% in rectly plate one only. The plates 16 and 17 are used to Qazvin (Iran) [20]. differentiate deutan and protan types of colour vision People with defective colour vision are at a disadvan- efficiency. tage, especially for employment in professions like pilots, drivers, in defense services and in technical fields like 2.4 Statistical analysis engineering and the medical profession [17, 21]. In Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS version addition, in some fields of studies such as electrical en- 20 [30]. The Chi-square (χ ) test was done to determine gineering, agriculture, laboratory, forensic sciences, whether there was a significant difference between sexes chemical engineering, soil engineering and architectural and between ethnic groups. engineering normal colour vision is important [2, 13, 22]. In Ethiopia, there are a limited number of studies 2.5 Allele frequency analysis done to assess the prevalence of congenital colour vision Assuming that the populations are non-consanguineous, deficiency and its potential professional impacts [23–28]. the frequencies of the normal allele (p), deutan allele (q) The objective of the present study was to assess the and protan allele (s) for colour blind subjects were calcu- prevalence and allele frequencies of red-green colour vi- lated based on the Hardy–Weinberg law using the gene sion defects among students at Hawassa University, counting method as was done by Shah et al. [13]. The Ethiopia. expected allele frequencies of females were calculated based on the affected males’ allele frequencies but the actual allele frequencies of females were calculated based 2 Materials and methods on the affected females. 2.1 Study area The study was conducted at Hawassa University focus- 3 Results ing on undergraduate and postgraduate students from 3.1 Phenotypic frequency of congenital colour vision four campuses, namely; Institute of Technology, College deficiency of Health Science and Medicine, College of Agriculture A total of 4004 study subjects took part in this study out and the Main campus. of which 1171 (29.25%) were females and 2833 (70.75%) were males. The age of the study subjects ranged from 2.2 Research design and study subjects 18 to 47 years with a mean of 21.25 ± 2.642 years. Of the A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted to total study subjects, 114 (2.85%; 95% CI: 2.33 to 3.37) determine the prevalence of congenital colour vision de- had congenital colour vision deficiency, including 106 ficiency. The inclusion criteria were Ethiopian students, males and 8 females (Table 1). The prevalence above 18 years old, with the normal eye condition and of colour blindness in male and female students was who gave their consent. In this study, 4020 study sub- 3.75% (95% CI: 3.05 to 4.45) and 0.68%, respectively. jects participated, but only 4004 individuals (i.e. fe- In the present study, the subjects were from 35 differ- males = 1171 and males = 2833) were included for ent ethnic groups (Table 1). As the sample size of the subsequent analysis as the remaining 16 subjects had majority of ethnic groups was small (except that of Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 3 of 6 Table 1 The prevalence of congenital colour vision deficiency (CCVD) by gender and ethnic groups, Hawassa University, Ethiopia Combined Male Female Ethnic groups Normal (%) Color blind (%) Total Normal (%) Color blind (%) Total Normal (%) Color blind (%) Total Amhara 1465(96.96) 46 (3.04) 1511 1024(95.88) 44(4.12) 1068 441(99.55) 2(0.45) 443 Oromo 1109(96.94) 35 (3.06) 1144 732(96.06) 30(3.94) 762 377(98.69) 5(1.31) 382 Others† 1312(97.55) 33 (2.45) 1345 967(96.80) 32(3.20) 999 345(99.71) 1(0.29) 346 Total 3886(97.15) 114(2.85) 4000 2723(96.25) 106(3.75) 2829 1163(99.32) 8(0.68) 1171 Afar (7), Agew (4), Alle (1), Antro (3), Anyuak (4), Arri (3), Awi (3), Bench (7), Burji (1), Dawuro (21), Dorze (2), Gamo (105), Gedeo (5), Gumuz (3), Gurage (182), Hadya (93), Halaba (13), Hamar (1), Harari (1), Kafa (14), Kambata (104), Konso (4), Kore (2), Kucha (3), Nyangatom (2), Shakacho (3), Shinasha (3), Sidama (306),Silte (39), Somali (20), Tegaru (193), Wolaita (191), and Yem (3) ethnic groups. The numbers in the brackets are the percentage of sample size subjects from the respective ethnic groups Amhara and Oromo), we had combined them together ethnic origin was 0.0016 and lower compared to the ob- to have a balanced sample size. Colour blindness was served frequency (0.013). The frequency of heterozygote only recorded among subjects from 10 ethnic origins, was higher (8.00%) in Amhara and Oromo but lower namely; Amhara, Gurage, Halaba, Kafa, Kambata, among study subjects in other ethnic groups combined Oromo, Sidama, Somali, Tegaru and Wolaita. Deutan (Table 3). was highest amongst students of Amhara ethnic origin 38 (2.51%), but the frequency of protan was highest 4 Discussion amongst Oromo students 10 (0.87%). Nonetheless, the The overall prevalence of CCVD in the present study prevalences of deutan and protan were low in the other was lower compared to the previous studies such as in ethnic groups combined. The frequencies of anchro- Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 4.52%, by Abebe and Wondim- macy, deutan and protan were 4/0, 82/6 and 24/2, in kun [24], in Saudi Arabia, 3.36%, by Oriowo and Alotaibi males/females respectively (Table 2). The frequency of [12], in Manipur (India), 5.28 %, by Shah et al [13], in deutan and protan among females of the affected stu- Shekhan City/Kurdistan region (Iraq), 3.28%, by Abdul- dents was higher in Oromo ethnic origin. In this study, rahman [14], in Welkite town (central Ethiopia), 4.10%, total colour blindness was not observed in females by Woldeamanuel and Geta [15] but higher than a re- (Table 2). port in Bhopal (India), 2.50% by Gupta et al. [16]. The lower prevalence of CCVD in the present study relative 3.2 Allelic and genotypic frequency of CCVD among to other studies conducted in Ethiopia [24, 25], could be ethnic groups due to the larger sample size of the current study. In this Since males are hemizygous (i.e. having a single X study, the majority of students were unaware about chromosome), the frequency of the CCVD allele in them colour vision deficiency disease, except students from would be the same as the proportion of colour blindness Health Science and Medicine. (e.g. Amhara (44/1068 = 0.04), Oromo (30/762 = 0.04) The prevalence of CCVD recorded in males in the and the other ethnic groups (32/999 = 0.03). Similarly, present study (3.75%) was similar to the reports in western the observed (actual) frequencies in females were 0.005, Nepal (Pokhara, 3.80%) [31] and in Rajasthan (India, 0.013 and 0.003 in Amhara, Oromo and other ethnic 3.20%) [32]. Yet the frequency of CCVD recorded groups, respectively. Based on the frequencies of CCVD amongst males in this study was low relative to investiga- allele in males of the respective ethnic groups, the ex- tions in Tehran (8.20%) [33], in Denmark (8.67%) [34], in pected frequencies in females were (0.04 = 0.0016) in Nepal (5.58%) [17], in Erbil City (Iraq, 8.47%) [18]and in Amhara and Oromo and (0.03 = 0.0009) in the other Bhopal (India, 4.20 %) [16]. However, the prevalence of ethnic groups combined. In this regard, the expected fre- the CCVD (males) in the present study was higher than quency of CCVD among female students of Oromo that of India (2.30%) [35] and in Qazvin (Iran, 2.56%) [20]. Table 2 Phenotypic frequency of achromacy and the different types of CCVD among male and female students of various ethnic groups in Hawassa University, Ethiopia Ethnic Male Female groups Achromacy (%) Deutan (%) Protan (%) Total Achromacy (%) Deutan (%) Protan (%) Total Amhara 2 (0.19) 36 (3.36) 8 (0.75) 1070 0 (0.00) 2 (0.45) 0 (0.00) 443 Oromo 1 (0.13) 22 (2.88) 8 (1.05) 763 0 (0.00) 3 (0.79) 2 (0.52) 382 Others 1 (0.10) 24 (2.40) 8 (0.80) 1000 0 (0.00) 1 (0.29) 0 (0.00) 346 Total 4 (0.14) 82(2.89) 24 (0.85) 2833 0 (0.00) 6 (0.51) 2 (0.17) 1171 Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 4 of 6 Table 3 The frequencies of normal, heterozygote, double heterozygote and colour blind male and female subjects Ethnic Gender group Male Female Normal Deutan Protan Total Deutan Protan Heterozygote Double heterozygote Colour blind 2 2 2 2 Amhara 1024 36 8 1068 q = 0.001 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.08 2qs = 0.001 q + s = 0.0011 p = 0.96 q = 0.03 s = 0.01 Oromo 732 22 8 762 2 2 2 2 p = 0.96 q = 0.03 s = 0.01 q = 0.001 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.08 2qs = 0.001 q + s = 0.0011 Other 967 24 8 999 2 2 2 2 p = 0.97 q = 0.02 s = 0.01 q = 0.0004 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.06 2qs = 0.0004 q + s = 0.001 Total 2723 82 24 2829 2 2 2 2 p = 0.96 q = 0.03 s = 0.01 q = 0.001 s = 0.0001 2 (pq + ps) = 0.08 2qs = 0.001 q + s = 0.0011 Several studies indicated that the prevalence of CCVD females) in Kurd, 9.44%/2.24% in Arabs, 8.52%/1.56% in in females is usually lower as compared to that of males Turkman, and 7.40%/1.05% in Kldan) [18]. The lower (e.g., [12, 13, 23, 31]). The prevalence of CCVD amongst frequencies of various types of CCVD in the present females in the present study was higher than in Italy study compared to Iraq [18] and India [13], could be (0.10%) [36], in northern Ethiopia (0.20%) [23], but com- due to the common practices of consanguineous mar- parable to that of Saudi Arabia (0.75%) [12] and in Qaz- riage in countries in the middle east and southeast Asia vin(Iran, 0.93%) [20]. A relatively higher frequency of [12, 13, 18, 31, 35]. In this regards, in Ethiopia consan- CCVD in females is reported by couples of studies, for guineous marriage is rare as it is not promoted because examples, in the Punjab city of India, (1.10%) [37] and of cultural, religious and legal factors. However, a couple Erbil City (Iraq, 1.37 %) [18]. However, studies con- other factors contribute for the difference in the preva- ducted in Libya [35], in western Nepal (Pokhara) [31], in lence of CCVD between populations and geographic re- Rajasthan (India) [32] reported no cases of CCVD gions, in addition to the degree of consanguineous amongst female subjects. On the contrary, studies done marriage (e.g. population movements, the molecular in Faisalabad (Pakistan) [38] and in Kolkata (West Ben- structure of gene on the X chromosome, natural selec- gal/India) [39] reported a higher prevalence of CCVD in tion). For example, increasing migration of people within females compared to males. The higher prevalence a country and across countries (e.g. in Saudi Arabia [12], amongst males as compared to females indicates the in India [13]), might indirectly lead to increase in the genetic causation of the disorder [4–10]. Congenital rate of exogamous marriages that could contribute in- colour vision deficiency is genetically determined by X- crease in the prevalence of CCVD. It is also suggested linked recessive inheritance and thus occurs in males that increase incidence of colour blindness amongst the but is transmitted via females and about 8.0% of all Caucasians may be due to difference in the molecular women are carriers [40]. pattern of X chromosome of colour vision genes. Fur- thermore, it was observed that overall frequency of The prevalence of achromacy in this study was com- colour vision defects has been observed quite low parable with Abeshge district (central Ethiopia, 0.19%) amongst scheduled tribe groups (traditionally food gath- [25] and in Ugep (Nigeria, 0.20%) [41]. On the other erers and hunters and later occupied in shifting cultiva- hand, the prevalence of deutan in males (2.89%) was tion and as agricultural laborers) from all the zones in lower compared to the northwest Ethiopia (3.20 %) [23], India followed by scheduled caste groups (about 90% of but similar to Abeshge district (2.89%) [25]. scheduled castes are agricultural laborers) which is followed by caste groups [13]. The prevalence of CCVD amongst students of Amhara (3.04%) and Oromo (3.06%) ethnic was lower compared Average heterozygosity is a measure of genetic diversity to some ethnic groups in Nepal (e.g. 5.00% in Brahman, at the population scale and indicates the average propor- 5.10% in Gurung, 9.10% in Newar and 14.30% in Darji) tion of individuals that are heterozygous for a given trait. but higher relative to other ethnic groups (e.g. 2.8% in The frequencies of CCVD alleles found in the present Chhetri and 2.1% in Magar) [31]. Furthermore, the study was lower compared to those of the frequencies re- prevalence of CCVD in males (3.75%) and females ported in five populations in Manipur (India) [13]and for (0.68%) in the present study was lower compared to vari- science students in the ASC Rahuri College (India) [42]. ous ethnic groups in Iraq (e.g. 8.45%/1.20% (males/ Furthermore, the level of heterozygosity found in the Mitiku et al. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (2020) 95:10 Page 5 of 6 present study amongst female students of Amhara (8%) deficiency amongst students of various ethnic groups. and Oromo (8%) ethnic origin was low compared to that Many students were unaware of colour vision deficiency of the population in India (e.g. Meitie (26.61%), Sheikh itself, except students from health science and medicine. (24.45%) [13]. In addition, the heterozygosity documented Therefore, proper screening, education and counseling are in the present study for female students was almost half of needed to minimize the influences of colour vision defi- that of the prevalence in a general population (14.70%) ciency in the country and could be beneficial to the af- [43]. Similarly, the frequency of double heterozygosity fected subject in tackling difficulties in everyday work and found in the present study for female subjects was one for proper choice of future profession. fifth of the prevalence in the general population [43]. Fe- males who had a recessive allele for deutan on one X 5 Conclusion and recommendations chromosome, but a recessive allele for protan on the sec- Anomaloscope should be used for detailed analysis of ond X chromosome are called ‘double carriers’ (or com- quantitative and qualitative anomalies in colour percep- pound heterozygote) [43]. Carroll [43] has also examined tion. However, in this study, we did not use anomalo- a female subject who had one deutan son and a protan scope which is clinically used for screening and son, which indicated her identity of double heterozygote/ diagnosis of CVD, because the instrument was not avail- double carrier. Furthermore, the identity of this subject as able in our set up. Furthermore, we were not able to both deutan and protan was also confirmed by genetic cover all the ethnic groups as it was not possible for lo- analysis. In the present analysis, we did not explicitly find gistic factors. double carrier subjects, but we do not rule out the possi- Acknowledgements bility of getting such subjects. The authors would like to thank all the participants for their cooperation and Hawassa University for giving ethical permission to conduct the research. In some jobs such as doctors, educational trainers and Authors’ contributions drivers, colour recognition is essential and hence detection RGM was involved in data collection and analyses. BST was involved in the of colour vision deficiency at an early age is useful to avoid study design, data analyses and manuscript revision and ZGT was involved in certain occupational hazards [2, 13, 21, 22]. However, in the study design, data analyses, manuscript writing and revision. All authors read and approved the manuscript. Ethiopia, early testing of colour vision deficiency is not common when students join university to study fields like Funding engineering, soil sciences, chemistry, electricity and elec- Research fund was provided by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) of Hawassa University. tronics, etc. Since colour vision deficiency is not a deadly disease, an individual can be a colour vision deficiency Availability of data and materials without noticing the scene. Unnoticed deficiency may lead The data used in this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. to professional inefficiency and some risks. A study con- ducted by Abebe and Wondmikun [24]ondefective Ethics approval and consent to participate colour perception amongst licensed car drivers in Addis The study was conducted after ethical approval (Ref. No. IRB/134/10; Date Ababa revealed a prevalence of 4.50% of colour vision im- 12/02/2018) of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Hawassa University (Ethiopia), College of Health Science and after an informed consent was pairment. Furthermore, the results showed that 31.8% of obtained from each study subject. colour blind subjects had road traffic accidents the past three years prior to the study. They have also found that Consent for publication Consent for publication is not applicable as this study did not include an examination of colour vision in driving license seekers names, images, or videos relating to individual participants. in Ethiopia does not screen out colour-blind individuals. The likelihood that colour-blind drivers would encounter Competing interests We declare that there are no conflicts of interest amongst the co-authors. All an accident is about twice as high as amongst non-colour- the co-authors have contributed from the very inception of the manuscript blind drivers [24]. Therefore, in today’s automated world, and until the final version of the manuscript. when every livelihood is connected with modern technol- Author details ogy, analysis of colour vision deficiency is indispensable to Department of Biology, Dambi Dollo University, Dambi Dollo, Ethiopia. mitigate the potential impact of colour vision deficiency 2 3 Department of Biology, Wollega University, Nekemte, Ethiopia. Department [2, 13, 21, 24]. of Biology, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. Received: 22 March 2019 Accepted: 7 February 2020 4.1 Limitations The overall prevalence of CCVD found in the present study was lower compared to the previous studies done in References 1. Agarwal S, Bansod N. Prevalence of colour blindness in school children. Int J Ethiopia. The prevalence of CCVD was highest amongst of Sci Res. 2014;3(4):175–7. males, but relatively low amongst female subjects. There 2. Cumberland P, Rahi JS, Peckham CS. 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Published: Mar 20, 2020

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