There are currently four countries and one local region in Europe that use PAP in their newborn screening programme. The first country to employ PAP at a national level was the Netherlands, which started using IRT/PAP/DNA/EGA in 2011. Germany followed in 2016 with a slightly different IRT/PAP/DNA strategy. Portugal also started in 2016, but with an IRT/PAP/IRT programme, and in 2017, Austria changed its IRT/IRT protocol to an IRT/PAP/IRT program. In 2018, Catalonia started to use an IRT/PAP/IRT/DNA strategy. The strengths of PAP are the avoidance of carrier detection and a lower detection rate of CFSPID. PAP seems to have advantages in detecting CF in ethnically-diverse populations, as it is a biochemical approach to screening, which looks for pancreatic injury. Compared to an IRT/IRT protocol, an IRT/PAP protocol leads to earlier diagnoses. While PAP can be assessed with the same screening card as the first IRT, the second IRT in an IRT/IRT protocol requires a second heel prick around the 21st day of the patient’s life. However, IRT/PAP has two main weaknesses. First, an IRT/PAP protocol seems to have a lower sensitivity compared to a well-functioning IRT/DNA protocol, and second, IRT/PAP that is performed as a purely biochemical protocol has a very low positive predictive value. However, if the advantages of PAP are to be exploited, a combination of IRT/PAP with genetic screening or a second IRT as a third tier could be an alternative for a sufficiently performing CF-NBS protocol.
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