Classification and external resources
Girl from Honduras with probable OCA1a-type albinism.
203100 103470, 203200, 203280,
203290, 203300, 203310, 256710,
278400, 214450, 214500, 220900,
300500, 300600, 300650, 300700,
600501, 604228, 606574, 606952,
Albinism (from Latin albus, "white"; see ex-
tended etymology, also called achromia,
achromasia, or achromatosis) is a form of
hypopigmentary congenital disorder, charac-
terized by a partial (in hypomelanism, also
(amelanism or amelanosis) lack of melanin
pigment in the eyes, skin and hair, or more
rarely in the eyes alone. Albinism results
from inheritance of recessive alleles. The
is known to affect mammals
(including humans), fish, birds, reptiles and
amphibians. While the most common term for
an organism affected by albinism is "albino"
(noun and adjective), the word is sometimes
used in derogatory ways towards people;
"person with albinism"
(noun). Additional clinical adjectives some-
times used to refer to animals are "albinoid"
It is not the same as leucism, where all in-
tegumental pigment is absent at least in
patches but the eyes have their usual color.
Types of human albinism
Albino King penguin on South Georgia Island
Albinism is hereditary; it is not an infectious
disease and cannot be transmitted through
contact, blood transfusions, or other vectors.
The principal gene which results in albinism
prevents the body from making the usual
amounts of the pigment melanin. Most forms
of albinism are the result of the biological in-
heritance of genetically recessive alleles
(genes) passed from both parents of an indi-
vidual, though some rare forms are inherited
from only one parent. There are other genet-
ic mutations which are proven to be associ-
ated with albinism. All alterations, however,
lead to changes in melanin produ