EGL Genetics Blog

Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screening: A Tool for Family Planning

Posted by Antonio Shaw on Mar 3, 2016 12:54:53 PM

As families become increasingly multiracial and multicultural, it is more important than ever to perform carrier screening prior to conception. That is why EGL offers a Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screen.

There are myriad genetic disorders that are more likely to occur in certain ethnic groups who trace their heritage to a particular geographic location. It is important to note, however, that while these genetic disorders may be much more prevalent in certain ethnic groups, they can occur in anyone from any race or ethnicity.

Continue reading for a hypothetical narrative that highlights the importance of performing a comprehensive carrier screening assay.

Meet The Bergers: Mike, his wife Carol, and their two children, Joseph and Chloe. Mike and Carol look like a typical interracial couple you might encounter in today's multicultural society. Both Mike and Carol were familiar with genetic disorders that have a higher prevalence in their respective races, but they wanted to be sure there weren't any disorders common to both of their heritages that they might pass on to their children. So, prior to starting a family, Carol's OBGYN ordered the Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screen from EGL.  


 When the results from their screenings came back, Mike and Carol were in for a few surprises. They discovered that Carol was a carrier for sickle cell disease. Because of the common misconception that sickle cell disease only affects people of African decent, this wasn't a condition that was on the couple's radar. Though they knew there might be a slim chance that Mike was a carrier, the thought never occurred to them that Carol would be. 

They then found out that Mike was a carrier for cystic fibrosis. Again, the couple had assumed if either of them would be the carrier for a condition like cystic fibrosis, it would be Carol due to the higher incidence of this disorder in Caucasian people. 

Fortunately for the couple, it was revealed that Mike was not a carrier for sickle cell, nor was Carol a carrier for cystic fibrosis. Therefore, none of their children would inherit these disorders. 10 months after receiving their results from EGL, the happy couple welcomed Joseph into their family. Three years later, little Chloe was born. Mike and Carol could rest easy knowing their children would not display any of the 148 genetic disorders screened for on EGL's Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screen.

For more information on Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screening, please join us for our webinar on Thursday, March 24, 2016.

  Register for Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screening Webinar

For additional information on sickle cell disease, visit

For additional information on cystic fibrosis, visit

EGL offers over 1,100 tests for your genetic testing needs. Visit us online at




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