Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-shortening diseases. It is based on a genetic modification of a gene known as the CFTR gene. In Nigeria, a significant number of babies are born with the disease, but it is preventable.
The symptoms of cystic fibrosis can vary in type and severity. Many people with the disease produce thick, sticky mucus in their bodies. This mucus builds up and clogs the lungs. This makes it hard to breathe and can lead to infection. Cystic fibrosis also can make it hard for the body to break down and absorb food.
The mild form of the disease is quite common but it becomes serious and affects a person’s health. Treatments are available, but the disease gets worse the longer a person has it. There is no permanent cure.
Essentially cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder caused by the faulty gene that is passed from parent to child. Carrier screening allows parents-to-be to find out their chances of having a child with this disease. If you are already pregnant, a prenatal diagnostic test allows you to find out if your fetus is at risk or actually has cystic fibrosis or is a carrier.
Unity Test is the only prenatal screen test currently available that is able to screen cell-free fetal DNA for genetic mutations associated with cystic fibrosis using just one tube of blood from the mother as source material.
The test is currently available in Nigeria at Genomix.
The procedure is affordable, simple, convenient, safe for mother and baby and the results are fast produced. It is a non-invasive test, only a tube of blood from the mother’s arm is required.
With the Unity Test, you can have access to safe, accurate and affordable prenatal screening for cystic fibrosis. The test is 99 percent accurate for carrier screening for
Unity Test is based on a patented Quantitative Counting Template (QCT) molecular counting technology, which allows count of the number of molecules with a single base-pair resolution.
With Unity, physicians can screen for most common genetic disorders directly in the baby from maternal blood alone. Compared to traditional screening methods, Unity Test is faster, more affordable, and less burdensome.
The Unity Test is the only prenatal test worldwide that tests for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscle atrophy, sickle cell disease and thalassemia. This test is available in Nigeria exclusively at Genomix.
The test is beneficial to you and your unborn baby because it is a non-invasive blood test. From just one tube of blood sample taken from you the mother, your status can be determined.
If someone is a cystic fibrosis carrier, it means they inherited one gene from the mother and one from the father. If a person has only one copy of a gene for cystic fibrosis, he or she is a carrier.
Carriers often do not know that they have a gene for the disease. They usually do not have symptoms or may have only mild symptoms.
There are options for carrier screening which can be done before pregnancy or during pregnancy. If you have carrier screening before you get pregnant and both you and your partner are carriers, you have more options. If you have carrier screening while you are pregnant, you have fewer options.
Carrier screening for cystic fibrosis is offered to all women who are thinking about getting pregnant or who are already pregnant in Nigeria by Genomix, a Lagos-based facility. It is advisable to have this screening.
The mother is usually tested first. If results show that you are a carrier, your partner is tested. If your partner has a family history of cystic fibrosis, he may be tested first.
If you are already pregnant, you and your partner can be tested at the same time.
If both of you are carriers, there are three possible outcomes:
- There is a 1-in-2 (50 percent) chance the baby will be a carrier, like you and your partner. Being a carrier usually will not affect the health of the baby, but he or she could have a child with cystic fibrosis in the future
- There is a 1-in-4 (25 percent) chance the baby will have the disease
- There is a 1-in-4 (25 percent) chance that the baby will not have cystic fibrosis and will not pass on the disease to future children.
It is possible to find out if a fetus has cystic fibrosis or is a carrier through the Unity prenatal screening. This testing has a sensitivity of over 99 percent and can be done as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy.
If tests show that both of you are carriers, it means that in each pregnancy the fetus will have a 1-in-4 chance of having cystic fibrosis. If you want to know whether your fetus has the disease, you will need to undergo the Unity test.