“Knowing your genotype can be a matter of life or death” This statement was posted by SYNLAB (formerly called Pathcare; one of the leading medical laboratories in Nigeria) on their website in an article they published on their website on genotype. This shows how important it is for one to know his or her genotype.
In this post I’m going to tell you what it cost to do a genotype test in Nigeria. You will equally know some facts about genotype in Nigeria in this quick article, meaning of genotype, types of genotype, duration of a genotype test, cautions and sources of error during genotyping test and lots more.
Quick Answer: Cost of Genotype Test in Naija
The cost of genotype test ranges from ₦1,000.00 to ₦3,500.00 depending on the location and the laboratory that conducts the test. Recently, due to high inflation and the recent economic realities, the test might range from from ₦3,500.00 to ₦15,200.00.
The most expensive genotype test is the prenatal genotype test that can cost as high as ₦250, 000.00.
Some facts on Genotype in Nigeria
- One in every four Nigerians carries the gene that causes sickle-cell anaemia.
- Anambra State is the first State in Nigeria that passed a bill that makes knowing your genotype mandatory before marriage. Such bill is also before the National Assembly.
- Sickle cell disease is the most prevalent inherited disease in Nigeria that is easily diagnosed and controlled.
- Over 100,000 babies die yearly from sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria.
- Some churches in Nigeria makes genotype test compulsory for intending couple.
What is genotype?
Generally, genotype refers to the genetic constitution of an organism; it describes an organism complete set of genes. In a narrow sense, it is used to refer to the alleles or variant forms of gene that that an organism possess. It is transferred from parent to offspring; that is inherited.
A person’s genotype determines characteristics such as height, hair colour, eye colour, etc.
Types of Genotype:
Based on the type of haemoglobin found in the red blood cells, humans have six genotypes: AA, AC, AS, CC, SC, and SS.
Hemoglobin is a red protein responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. The normal haemoglobin found in adults is two molecules (AA). An hereditary condition involving an abnormality in the structure of hemoglobin is called hemoglobinopathy (e.g., sickle cell, where at least one abnormal haemoglobin molecule is present-AS, SC, SS).
A term known as Alpha Thalassemia is used to describe a genetic condition whereby the amount of normal haemoglobin is reduced in the red blood cell of an individual.
Why you should know your genotype
Some people get to know their genotype when they’re about to marry. In some cases, they’re already attached emotionally to the person and discovering that they are not compatible usually creates massive shock waves on every side with the attendant effect of break up.
Others get to know it maybe after they have given birth to a child and they discovered that the child is showing some symptoms of sickle cell anemia, which laboratory test proves affirmative. They’ll then realize that their ignorance, negligence or maybe mistake is responsible for their child’s predicament.
The fight against sickle cell disease is the single most important reason why everyone should know their genotype. The disease(sickle cell anaemia) is a genetic disorder which is as a result of change (mutation) in the gene that determines what haemoglobin type is formed. We inherited our gene from our parents. When an individual inherits two abnormal haemoglobin(S) one from each parent he/she suffers sickle cell anaemia(SS).
Reduce your risk. Get tested and be responsible for your health as well as the health of the children you want to raise.
Test duration and Results
Generally, genotype test result does not take long to be out. In fact, Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation (SCHAF) in 2020 led by her President Professor Adeyinka Falusi launched a kit that can provide an accurate and on-the-spot diagnosis and make result available within 10 minutes. She(Professor Adeyinka) said that the kit has already been adopted by the World Health
Cost of Genotype test in Nigeria
Prevention they say is better and much cheaper than cure. Though an SS condition can be managed, it is better to prevent having an SS child in the first place than planning to manage it.
As at 2022, the cost of genotype test ranges from N1,000.00 to N3,500.00 depending on the location and the laboratory that conduct the test. But now due to high inflation and the recent economic realities the test ranges from N3,500.00 to N15,200.00. The most expensive genotype test is the prenatal genotype test that can cost as high as N250, 000.00.
Caution on Genotyping Test
In a recent workshop in October 2023 organised by the Initiative for Medical Diagnostic Awareness, IMDA with the theme “Haemoglobinopathy: Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis” experts warn that genotyping test alone is inadequate for diagnosis of sickling status.
They advice that peripheral blood film evaluation, high-performance liquid chromatography/Isoelectric focusing, haemoglobin stability test, haemoglobin quantification, whole blood count with emphasis on red indices and molecular technique should be employed in addition to the so-called genotyping test for accuracy and precision.
Possible Source of Error During Genotyping Test
The IMDA noted that technical error, restricted access to suitable diagnostic instruments, lack of understanding to interpret data and a failure to order and acquire the required laboratory test as the cause of mistakes. That is why they recommend conducting the other test above in addition to the conventional genotyping test to ensure accuracy.
Genotype and Compatibility for Marriage
The test result shows if a person is a sickler, a carrier or if the person is free. The table below shows genotype and compatibility for marriage:
AA + AA Compatible
AA + AS Compatible
AA + AC Compatible
AA + CC Compatible
AS + AS Not compatible
AS + AC Not compatible
AC + AC Not compatible
SS + AC Not compatible
SS + SC Not compatible
SS + CC Not compatible
Difference between Blood Group and Genotype
Blood group is determined by the protein antigens which are present on the surface of red blood cells while genotype forms the genetic constituency of cells in humans.
The cost of genotype may be N10,000.00 or even as high “N50,000.00” but it’s not as expensive as managing sickle cell anaemia neither is it as expensive as watching your son or daughter
suffer excruciating pain associated with sickle cell. It is not as expensive as watching your child die. Put differently the cost of NOT knowing your genotype is as expensive as dead.
Comment below if you know your genotype and tell us how much you paid for the service.