The company said that the new SensiGene Fetal RhD Genotyping test is designed to detect circulating cell-free fetal (ccff) DNA from maternal blood and examine multiple regions of the gene that are known to be the most common genetic basis of RhD negative phenotypes.

The test interrogates four targets within three exons located on the RhD gene on chromosome one. The test also incorporates male-specific targets on the Y chromosome, because it has been demonstrated that Rh alloimmunisation occurs more frequently in male fetuses. A quality control metric is also included to ensure detection of DNA.

A fetal identifier control is further employed as a reflex control assay that detects fetal DNA in a sample within a large background of maternal DNA. The test is performed on Sequenom’s MassARRAY system, which allows direct mass measurement of nucleic acids.

The benefits of the non invasive SensiGene Fetal RhD Genotyping test include aid to physicians in creating a more informed strategy to manage the care of pregnant RhD negative women, reduction in need for invasive procedures such as amniocentesis or CVS.

The other benefits include first trimester detection, fetal identifiers a control to confirm the presence of fetal DNA thus ensuring that a RhD negative result for a female fetus is due to the measurement of fetal rather than maternal nucleic acid in the sample.