Carrier Screening

Learn if you are a carrier of a genetic disease that could affect your future family. Viafet's Carrier Screening is performed with the use of Next Generation Sequencing technology. This technological edge allows us to screen whole genes for mutations rather than analysing isolated mutations like most other carrier screening services. In one test, 670 unique genes are analysed for mutations known to cause 210 genetic conditions encompassing more than 400 genetic diseases.

What is carrier screening?

It is normal to be a carrier for a handful of genetic disease without it impacting your daily life. In fact, most individuals are carriers for genetic disease despite no history of disease within their family. What is important to know, is if you are your partner or future spouse are carriers for the same genetic disease. When two people are carriers of the same disease, they can unknowingly have a child that is affected by a genetic condition. Learning about which genetic disease you are a carrier for before pregnancy allows you to take steps to plan for your future family.

Genetic diseases differ in the way that they can be inherited. Carrier screening is performed for genetic diseases that are inherited in an Autosomal Recessive or X-linked manner. Your chance of passing on a condition to your child depends on your carrier status, the carrier status of your partner as well as the mode of inheritance for each specific disease.

Autosomal Recessive

The majority of the conditions included in Carrier Screening are inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. This means that the disease is equally found in males and females and that it must be inherited from both parents in order for future generations to be affected. An individual that is a carrier of an autosomal recessive disease inherited one disease-causing copy of the gene and one health copy of the gene from their parents. If two individuals are carriers for the same autosomal recessive disease, they have a 25% chance of both passing on a disease-causing copy of the gene to their child.

X-Linked Inheritance

X-linked conditions are inherited exclusively from mother to child and are more often seen in males than in females. X-linked disease are caused by mutations found on the X chromosome. Because males (XY) only have one X chromosome, if they inherit a disease-causing copy of the X chromosome from their mothers, they are more greatly affected than females (XX). This is because males (XY) receive no compensation of the affected traits from another X chromosome. In order for a male to be affected by an X-linked condition, they must receive only one disease-causing copy. If the female partner is a carrier of an X-linked genetic disease, the couple's chance of having an affected male child is 50%.

What diseases are included?

The list is being updated. Please check back for the final updated list.

How can I use my results?

Viafet's team of genetic counsellors is available for consult both before and after testing. After receiving your genetic report, a genetic counselor can help you understand your results in context to your life and the life of your family members.

You may be identified as a carrier of a genetic disease which usually has no implications on your health. If you are identified as a carrier of a particular genetic disease, and your partner has not completed testing, your partner may want to complete testing for that particular disease in order to assess the risk of passing on the condition to your future child.

You may be identified as a non-carrier of a genetic disease meaning your risk of passing on that particular genetic disease to your future child is extremely low.

In rare instances, you may be identified as being affected by a genetic disease. The genetic diseases included in Viafet's Carrier Screening range in severity and oftentimes this may have no serious implications on your personal health.

If your results indicate that you child is at an increased risk of inheriting an impactful genetic disease, you and your partner may want to consider reproductive options that would enable you to reduce your child's risk for genetic disease. The most thorough method is completing IVF with Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) to have your embryos screened for the particular disease your child is at risk for. You can discuss this option along with others with your genetic counselor after receiving your report. In other case, the condition that your child may be at risk for can be managed with medical treatment or does not have severe consequences on their health. In these cases, you may choose to continue with family pregnancy and pregnancy.

Where can I get testing?

Talk to your physician about Carrier Screening and if it right for you. If your physician does not yet offer Viafet testing, please suggest that they contact us - testing can get started immediately. If your physician is already offering Viafet testing, all coordination for your case will be completed between your medical centre and Viafet's team.

With locations in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Australia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and more locations coming soon, Viafet's services are available to a wide network of clinicians and patients. If at any time during your journey you have questions or would like to speak with a Genetic Counselor, contact Viafet and we will schedule an appointment immediately.