Could prenatal test results decide for treatments to help reduce the effects of a genetic disorder?

Universal Haplotype-Based Noninvasive Prenatal Testing for Single Gene Diseases

Together, single-gene disorders are more common than Down’s syndrome. A fast test for genetic disorders means parents could learn about the future health of their baby as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

November 2016 Study Abstract

Researchers have developed approaches for the noninvasive prenatal testing of single gene diseases. One approach that allows for the noninvasive assessment of both maternally and paternally inherited mutations involves the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in maternal plasma DNA with reference to parental haplotype information. In the past, parental haplotypes were resolved by complex experimental methods or inferential approaches, such as through the analysis of DNA from other affected family members. Recently, microfluidics-based linked-read sequencing technology has become available and allows the direct haplotype phasing of the whole genome rapidly. We explored the feasibility of applying this direct haplotyping technology in noninvasive prenatal testing.

Simple blood test can detect genetic diseases early in pregnancy, New Scientist, Magazine issue 3107, 7 January 2017.

Universal Haplotype-Based Noninvasive Prenatal Testing for Single Gene Diseases, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2016.268375, December 2016.

Icarus (Henri Matisse,1947) credit doomsteaddiner.

We first resolved the haplotypes of parental genomes with the use of linked-read sequencing technology. Then, we identified SNPs within and flanking the genes of interest in maternal plasma DNA by targeted sequencing. Finally, we applied relative haplotype dosage analysis to deduce the mutation inheritance status of the fetus.

Haplotype phasing and relative haplotype dosage analysis of 12 out of 13 families were successfully achieved. The mutational status of these 12 fetuses was correctly classified.

High-throughput linked-read sequencing followed by maternal plasma-based relative haplotype dosage analysis represents a streamlined approach for noninvasive prenatal testing of inherited single gene diseases. The approach bypasses the need for mutation-specific assays and is not dependent on the availability of DNA from other affected family members. Thus, the approach is universally applicable to pregnancies at risk for the inheritance of a single gene disease.

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