Next Generation DNA screening for serious but treatable conditions in babies

Using the NextGen-Test Karyn Henner and daughter Michelle
Using the NextGen-Test Karyn Henner and daughter Michelle

A NEWLY launched genetic test is set to address a gap in Australia’s current preventive health care.

Genepath’s NextGen test, a painless mouth swab, offers screening for multiple treatable conditions that can cause problems at various stages of life.

Designed to be used in conjunction with the existing newborn screening test ,the ’heel prick test’,
NextGen screens for more than 60 serious medical conditions, 50 of which were
previously not screened for in Australia.

Genepath’s Director of Clinical Services Dr Glenn Bennett said advancements in genetic testing and DNA sequencing had been significant in recent years.

“As the technology progressed, we saw the potential of using Next-Generation
DNA Sequencing in the area of preventive health for babies and children and realised there
was a significant opportunity to help improve the lives of many Australians.”

Clinical Geneticist Dr Mary-Louise Freckmann agreed, and is optimistic that the NextGen test
will help Australian families.

“As a geneticist, the opportunity to use genetic testing to prevent or manage future health
problems is exciting,” she said.

“Usually patients and families are not aware of these conditions until they begin to show symptoms.

“Screening using NextGen DNA Sequencing technology could identify conditions on the panel in the first
few weeks or months of life, prior to the onset of symptoms.

“The opportunity to access available therapies at this stage can result in a much more positive future.”