• "The laboratory you select must be accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks(AABB)... Under no circumstances should a third party be involved in the process of selecting a lab, scheduling the appointment, or any other process outlined in the next steps."

    U.S. Department of State
  • "Please be aware that many non-accredited businesses advertise on the Internet as being AABB-accredited. It is important to note that these "resellers" - who are not AABB-accredited - will claim to use an accredited lab for their testing. For the purpose of this request, samples collected from and comparative tests arranged through "resellers" will not be accepted. "

    USCIS - California Service Center
  • "The test must be performed directly through an AABB-accredited facility. Please visit the AABB website (ww.aabb.org) to find an accredited lab, which will also coordinate the testing of the claimed relative - if they reside overseas. Please be aware that many non-accredited businesses advertise on the Internet as being AABB-accredited. "

    USCIS - California Service Center
Home - DNA Basics - DNA Test Applications - Genetic Disease Testing
Genetic Disease Testing

Genetic disease testing helps discover a person’s vulnerability to inherited diseases or mutant genes that indicate increased risk of developing genetic disorders. It identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results can confirm or rule out a suspected condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.

With proper interpretation of the genetic testing results, people make informed decisions in managing their health and lifestyle. Available genetic tests include the following types:

Prenatal Screening

During the past two decades, geneticists have been assessing the physical and genetic status of a fetus during a woman’s pregnancy. These screening and testing procedures are currently the most popular application of genetic technology to humans. Some of the most commonly screened diseases include Down’s syndrome, Huntington disease, and cystic fibrosis.

Newborn Screening

Newborn screening is used right after birth to discover genetic disorders that can be treated in early life. Some of the routinely checked genetic disorders in the U. S. include tests for phenylketonuria (a genetic disorder that causes mental illness if left untreated) and congenital hypothyroidism (a disorder of the thyroid gland).

Carrier Testing

This test is used to identify people who carry one copy of a gene mutation that, when present in two copies, causes a genetic disorder. This type of testing is offered to individuals who have a family history of a genetic disorder and to people in ethnic groups with an increased risk of specific genetic conditions. If both parents are tested, the test can provide information about a couple's risk of having a child with a genetic condition.

Predictive Testing

This type of genetic test provides people who have a family member with a genetic disorder with information about their likelihood of getting the same genetic disorder in their life time. Predictive genetic testing can identify mutations that increase a person’s chances of developing disorders with a genetic basis such as certain types of cancer. Some of the most commonly performed tests are the BRCA1 and BRCA2, which identify a mutation that increases the risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

There is much discussion about the validity of some of the genetic tests, particularly the predictive testing procedures because the interpretation of the results is not always clear and there are no conclusive answers to how the patients can effectively manage their health and lifestyle once a mutation is discovered.

In addition, the direct-to-consumer genetic tests are highly controversial due to very little regulation of the testing providers’ advertising and marketing claims, the overall lack of government regulation of the industry, and the misinterpretation of the genetic information.

DNA Test Applications