DNA testing has become mainstream in recent years. This is due to the advancement in genetic technology and the increasing affordability, these tests are now accessible to a wider number of people. There are various types of genetic tests in the Nigerian market, from paternity to ancestry to even disease predisposition. Thus, it is important you understand the different types of tests, so that you can choose the right one.
This guide will provide you with detailed information about the different types of DNA tests in Nigeria.
Relationship DNA Testing
The relationship DNA test can provide information about relationships between individuals- parenthood, siblingship, avuncular etc. These types of DNA tests are now accessible and affordable more than ever. For some type of relationship test, you can get answers to your questions from the comfort of your home.
There are 6 types of relationship tests in Nigeria;
- Paternity Test
- Maternity Test
- Immigration DNA Test
- Legal DNA Test
- Prenatal DNA Test
- Avuncular DNA Test
A paternity DNA test is the simplest and quickest way to confirm whether or not an alleged man is the biological father of a child. The procedure involves collecting and examining the DNA of a small sample of bodily fluid (usually a buccal swab) from a child and the alleged father. For this test, DNA samples can be collected at the DNA centre or from the comfort of your home with a Home Sample Collection kit.
A maternity DNA test is a test in which the genetic material (DNA) of an alleged mother and child is analyzed to determine if the woman is the biological mother of the child. The process of the maternity DNA test is similar to that of a paternity DNA test.
Immigration DNA Test
An Immigration DNA test is the test done by a parent who wants to prove to the immigration office that they are the biological parent of their child/children for the purpose of migrating to another country. Immigration DNA tests usually require a strict chain of custody.
Legal DNA Test
The legal paternity DNA test offers a court-approved DNA test for people who need their test results to be used in a court of law. This test can be used to settle different family-related legal matters like alimony, child custody, child support, inheritance dispute, and change of name on a birth certificate. The legal paternity DNA test is different from a personal paternity test which is only done for ‘peace of mind’ purposes. For a legal paternity DNA test to be acceptable, it must be carried out under the proper chain of custody. It means that the sample collection for the DNA test must be carried out in front of the judge or in presence of a court-appointed representative.
Prenatal DNA Test
The non-invasive prenatal paternity DNA test is used to establish paternity during pregnancy. It involves taking a blood sample from the mother, and cheek (buccal) swabs from the alleged father(s) to conduct a fetal cell analysis. The test is performed by analyzing the baby’s DNA and comparing DNA markers to the alleged father(s). The result is more than 99% accurate and this test can be performed as early as the 9th week of pregnancy.
Avuncular DNA Test
An Avuncular DNA Test is a test in which the DNA of a child is compared to that of a biological aunt or uncle to confirm if the child is related to the family. This type of DNA is usually an option when the alleged parent of a child is deceased or unwilling to participate in the testing process.
Health & Wellness DNA Test
Health DNA Test – The health DNA test helps you ascertain whether you are carrying mutation(s) that are causing specific conditions or diseases. A genetic report tells you the likelihood of you contracting large numbers of known diseases (from oncology to ophthalmology, gynaecology diseases, and so on). This is compared with the average risk of individuals of the same race, age, and sex from a specific geographic area. Knowing which genetic disorders and diseases you are at risk from will allow you to plan for the best medical treatment possible and make lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.
Wellness DNA Test – Are you predisposed to obesity? How would your response to exercise or diet be? Find out interesting details about yourself with the wellness DNA test. This test can help you discover your response to physical exercise, your tendency to obesity or your ability to eliminate harmful substances. It can also provide you with valuable information about your physical endurance, injury recovery, food sensitivity, eating behaviour & weight gain/loss pattern, and detoxification.
Presymptomatic and Predictive Testing
This type of test is used when you have a known family history of a genetic condition. Getting genetic testing before having any symptoms shows if you’re at risk of developing that condition. Eg, this type of test may be useful for identifying the risk of certain types of cancer.
This is a very most common type of genetic testing. This test screens for certain genetic and metabolic abnormalities that cause specific conditions in newborn babies. This test is very important because if results show there’s a disorder such as sickle cell disease, congenital hypothyroidism, or phenylketonuria care and treatment can begin right away.
This type of genetic test can tell you whether you carry a gene for certain genetic disorders. When it is done before or during pregnancy, it allows you to find out your chances of having a child with a genetic disorder.
This type of genetic testing helps determine what medication will be most effective for you when you have a particular health condition or disease.
Ancestry DNA Test
This is the DNA test that helps people find their genetic relatives and expand their genealogy research. This test can provide information about where a person’s ancestors might have come from and relationships between families. Certain patterns of genetic variation are often shared among people of particular backgrounds. The more closely related two individuals, families, or populations are, the more patterns of variation they typically share.
There are 3 types of ancestry testing that are commonly used for genealogy:
- Y-DNA Testing
- Mitochondrial DNA Testing
- Autosomal DNA Testing
Because Y-chromosomes are passed from father to son, males can trace their patrilineal (male-line) ancestry by testing their Y-chromosome. The strength of a Y-DNA test is that it can trace your biological father’s male line far back in time from thousands or even tens of thousands of years ago. This is possible because the Y chromosome is passed down with very few changes, generation after generation.
Mitochondrial DNA Testing
This test traces a person’s matrilineal (mother’s female) ancestry using the DNA in his or her mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell and are passed down from your biological mother’s egg. This is why it is only possible to trace your biological mom’s female line using mtDNA testing. And unlike a Y-DNA test, everyone can take a mtDNA test.
A mtDNA test can only provide supporting evidence that someone is related to you. It also can be traced back in time thousands or even tens of thousands of years.
Autosomal DNA Testing
Unlike Y-DNA testing and mitochondrial DNA testing, the Autosomal DNA test analyzes most of your DNA that comes from your parents and the 22 pairs of chromosomes that make up your autosomes. The information in these chromosomes can help find your recent and distant relatives, as well as find where your ancestors lived 500 to 1000 or more years ago. Autosomal DNA testing is much more information-rich than the Y-DNA or mtDNA tests since it can reveal more about your ethnicity and who you are related to.
Infidelity DNA Test
This DNA test provides a conclusive way to find out if your spouse or romantic partner is cheating on you. Although the test results are not admissible in court, the infidelity DNA test can help you uncover the answers you need. Like every other DNA test, an infidelity test requires a DNA sample. In this case, the sample can be collected from the person who is suspected of infidelity, the other person you believe to be involved, or from a secondary source, such as hair, stained sheet, underwear or used dental floss.
At Smart DNA, we understand how challenging it can be to choose the right type of DNA test you need. This is why we are always available to answer any questions and provide more information to you. Visit our website www.smartdna.ng to reach out to us.