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Publication Detail
The use of expanded carrier screening of gamete donors
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Payne MR, Skytte A-B, Harper JC
  • Publisher:
    Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Human Reproduction
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
STUDY QUESTION What are the sperm and egg donor rejection rates after expanded carrier screening (ECS)? SUMMARY ANSWER Using an ECS panel looking at 46/47 genes, 17.6% of donors were rejected. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY The use of ECS is becoming commonplace in assisted reproductive technology, including testing of egg and sperm donors. Most national guidelines recommend rejection of donors if they are carriers of a genetic disease. If the use of ECS increases, there will be a decline in the number of donors available. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION A review of the current preconception ECS panels available to donors was carried out through an online search. The genetic testing results of donors from Cryos International were analysed to determine how many were rejected on the basis of the ECS. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS Data on gamete donors and their carrier status was provided by Cryos International, who screen donors using their own bespoke ECS panel. The ECS panels identified through the review were compared to the Cryos International panel and data. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE A total of 16 companies and 42 associated ECS panels were reviewed. There were a total of 2673 unique disorders covered by the panels examined, with a mean of 329 disorders screened. None of these disorders were common to all panels. Cryos International screen 46 disorders in males and 47 in females. From 883 candidate donors, 17.6% (155/883) were rejected based on their ECS result. Carriers of alpha-thalassaemia represented the largest proportion of those rejected (19.4%, 30/155), then spinal muscular atrophy (15.5%, 24/155) and cystic fibrosis (14.8%, 23/155). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION Panel information was found on company websites and may not have been accurate. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS This study highlights the need for consistent EU regulations and guidelines that allow genetic matching of gamete donors to their recipients, preventing the need to reject donors who are known carriers. A larger ECS panel would be most beneficial; however, this would not be viable without matching of donors and recipients.
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