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Disease Profile

Oculocutaneous albinism type 3

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

<1 / 1 000 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset






Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

OCA3; Albinism, oculocutaneous, type 3; Albinism 3


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Eye diseases; Metabolic disorders;


The following summary is from Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.

Orpha Number: 79433

Type 3 oculocutaneous albinism (OCA3) is a form of oculocutaneous albinism (OCA; see this term) characterized by rufous or brown albinism and occurring mainly in the African population.

OCA3 has an estimated prevalence of 1/8,500 individuals in Africa. It is rarely seen in other populations.

Clinical description
Visual anomalies, such as nystagmus, are frequently undetectable and patients usually present with one of two phenotypes: rufous OCA (ROCA), characterized by red-bronze skin color, blue or brown irises and ginger-red hair, or brown OCA (BOCA), characterized by light to brown hair and a light to brown or tan skin color. The clinical features of OCA3 have been considered as rather mild, and in the rare cases of non-African patients, reddish hair color has been reported. A Japanese girl was reported with having OCA3 who presented with blond hair and light skin (with a small Mongolian spot), was able to tan and was negative for nystagmus.

OCA3 is caused by a mutation in the tyrosinase-related protein 1, TYRP1, gene located on chromosome 9p23. The majority of BOCA cases are seen in OCA2, but a few BOCA phenotypes have been reported with mutations in the TYRP1 gene, indicating OCA3.

Genetic counseling
OCA3 is inherited autosomal recessively and genetic counseling is possible.

Visit the Orphanet disease page for more resources.


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
Iris hypopigmentation
Light eye color
Involuntary, rapid, rhythmic eye movements
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Red hair
Red hair color
Red head (hair color)

[ more ]

Squint eyes

[ more ]

5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Cutaneous photosensitivity
Photosensitive skin
Photosensitive skin rashes
Sensitivity to sunlight
Skin photosensitivity
Sun sensitivity

[ more ]

Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Autosomal recessive inheritance
Partial albinism
Partial absent skin pigmentation


Making a diagnosis for a genetic or rare disease can often be challenging. Healthcare professionals typically look at a person’s medical history, symptoms, physical exam, and laboratory test results in order to make a diagnosis. The following resources provide information relating to diagnosis and testing for this condition. If you have questions about getting a diagnosis, you should contact a healthcare professional.

Testing Resources

  • The Genetic Testing Registry (GTR) provides information about the genetic tests for this condition. The intended audience for the GTR is health care providers and researchers. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.


    Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

    Organizations Supporting this Disease

      Organizations Providing General Support

        Learn more

        These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

        In-Depth Information

        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
        • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Oculocutaneous albinism type 3. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.