The importance of Pre-natal testing for chromosomal aberrations in the body has been emphasized in a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine. The latest DNA test, which has been developed by researchers to screen Down syndrome and other related diseases are dramatically accurate. The new test is based on DNA sequencing and it will be used to identify Down syndrome and other related diseases.
The latest tests are said to be 10 times more accurate than conventional tests used today. Cell-free DNA test or cfDNA test is the name given to this test by researchers where the Doctor analyzes the fetal DNA which is circulating in the mother’s blood.
This genetic test is being marketed by Illumina Inc. of San Diego, California which also had footed the bill for the research. A crack team of researchers have perfected this genetic test which gave far less false results among the 1,941 women and the results were compared with the conventional standard serum screening methods. The tests were conducted as early as 10 week of pregnancy.
The latest research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.
The latest research can open up a lucrative $6 billion market to biotechnology companies which are already selling these tests. Such tests usually carry a price tag of $700 to $2500.
CDC or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention figures reveal that there are 6.6 million pregnancies and over 4 million births every year in the US and if the tests are effective it will open up good business opportunities.
Diana W. Bianchi led a team of researchers, MD; Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Floating Hospital for Children located at Tufts Medical Center said, “We found that the major advantage of noninvasive prenatal DNA testing was the significant reduction of the false positive rate,” further initialed “Prenatal testing using cell-free DNA as a primary screen could eliminate the need for many of the invasive diagnostic procedures (such as amniocentesis) that are performed to confirm a positive screen.”