Sickle Cell Disease Testing

Evaluate the Presence of Sickling Haemoglobins in Patient Blood Samples.

Sickle cell disease refers to a group of inherited health conditions that affect the red blood cells. The most serious type is called sickle cell anaemia.

People with sickle cell disease produce unusually shaped red blood cells. These cells do not live as long as healthy blood cells and can block blood vessels. It is a serious and lifelong health condition, although treatment can help manage many of the symptoms.

Sickle cell is also called Haemaglobin SS disease due to the fact that it is caused by mutated haemoglobin called Haemoglobin S. Sickle cell anaemia is a recessive trait. This means that in order for a child to suffer the condition both parents must carry the related gene. The condition is particularly common in people with an African or Caribbean family background.


Sickle cell disease often causes problems from early childhood, although some children have few symptoms and lead normal lives
most of the time.

The main symptoms of sickle cell disease are:

  • painful episodes called sickle cell crises, which can be very severe and last up to a week

  • an increased risk of serious infections

  • anaemia (where red blood cells cannot carry enough oxygen around the body), which can cause tiredness and shortness of breath

Some people also experience other problems, such as delayed growth, strokes and lung problems.

Screening and Testing for Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is often detected during pregnancy or soon after birth.

Screening for sickle cell disease in pregnancy is usually offered to pregnant women to check if there's a risk of a child being born with the condition, and babies are offered screening as part of the newborn blood spot test (heel prick test).

Blood tests can also be carried out at any age to check for sickle cell disease or see if you're a carrier of the gene that causes it.

Alpha Laboratories offers both testing and control products from Streck for a complete sickle testing product line that is convenient, safe and proven.

Products for Sickle Cell Testing


SICKLEDEX® is an assay designed to detect the presence of Haemoglobin S with just 20µl of sample.

  • 45-day open-vial stability and 12-month closed-vial stability

  • Superior open-vial stability: three times as long as other products on the market

  • Squeeze bottle (buffer) convenience to minimise waste

  • Only 20µl of patient/control sample required

  • Choice of pack sizes available to suit workload requirements including the 12-test kit which contains disposable test tubes and transfer pipettes

Sickle-Chex® Whole Blood Control

Sickle-Chex® is a positive and negative whole blood control to test for the ability to detect the presence of Haemoglobin S in solubility tests.

  • 100-day open-vial stability and 6-month closed-vial stability

  • Compatible with most other manufacturers' sickle cell screening kits

  • Packaged in 2.5ml squeeze dropper vials for easy sample dispensing

  • Vial dispenses accurate sample volume

SICKLEDEX Best Practice Overview

Top 4 questions about SICKLEDEX

  • What type of anticoagulants can be used for blood samples that will not interfere with the solubility test?

    Streck R&D validated a comprehensive list of anticoagulants for SICKLEDEX . The kits are validated for use with the following commercial blood collection anticoagulants: EDTA, ACD, CPD, CPDA-1, CPDA-2, CP2D, Sodium Citrate and Heparin. Additives such as AS-1 and AS-3 do not interfere with SICKLEDEX results. The addition of Heparin to our validated list makes SICKLEDEX a comprehensive solubility kit that covers most clinical blood draw tube types and blood banking anticoagulants.

  • What is the sensitivity and limit of detection for the test?

    We have proven that the SICKLEDEX solubility kits have 100% Specificity and 100% Sensitivity. This is based on testing more than 150 samples, versus the competition, which is based on only 20 samples. SICKLEDEX now has a lower limit of detection ̶ 15% Hgb-S with a total hemoglobin of 12%.

  • Are there alternative mixing strategies to swirling of the sample in the test tube?

    Inversion of the tubes several times is an effective mixing technique.

  • What is the proper use of the Streck Micropipettes for sample transfer?

    You must dispense blood in the micropipette within 30 seconds to avoid clotting.