Australian researchers have discovered a new method to test for prenatal chromosomal abnormalities using cervical swabs.
Testing fetus for chromosomal abnormalities are currently done through amniocentesis and other methods of screenings. In their new research, the scientists have been able to isolate single cells of the fetus from the cervical mucus of the pregnant woman with the help of a cervical swab. This may be done between 7 and 10 weeks into the pregnancy.
Researchers have used an enzyme to free up the cell and fluorescent antibodies to mark the fetal cells. These cells are then checked for chromosomal abnormalities with the help of DNA identification. The abnormalities of chromosome may be giving rise to Down's syndrome etc. early identification of which is essential.
This test will be the first of its kind, being noninvasive test for chromosomal abnormalities, and may be used for both low risk and high risk pregnancies. The method of testing is also fast and quick, with results made available within 24 hrs of the test.
The research report is published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.