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Fertilized eggs imported to Israel carry hereditary disease

Two doctors have been detained on suspicion of importing the eggs despite knowing they carry the gene for Hemophilia B.

Vitro Fertilization. IVF with DNA strand. Credit: Explode/Shutterstock.
Vitro Fertilization. IVF with DNA strand. Credit: Explode/Shutterstock.

The Israel Police has opened an investigation after fertilized eggs imported from the Republic of Georgia were found to carry the gene for Hemophilia B.

At least one child has already been born in Israel with the rare genetic bleeding disorder that impairs blood clotting, leading to prolonged bleeding and life-threatening complications.

Two doctors have been detained on suspicion of importing—and implanting—the eggs despite knowing they carried the gene for Hemophilia B.

Health authorities are set to establish a special committee in coordination with the State Attorney’s Office and police to investigate the matter. The Health Ministry has suspended the import of fertilized eggs from Georgia and ordered that the women for whom the eggs were imported be alerted to the matter.

Hemophilia B was not effectively treated until the development of blood clotting factor therapies and extraction technologies in the late 20th century, which significantly improved management of the condition and allowed for a normal or close-to-normal life expectancy.

Nevertheless, living with Hemophilia B still poses risks of spontaneous bleeding episodes, which can lead to joint damage, organ damage and life-threatening complications if not properly managed.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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