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Hum Genet. 2000 Jan;106(1):45-9.

Detection of male and female fetal DNA in maternal plasma by multiplex fluorescent polymerase chain reaction amplification of short tandem repeats.

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Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


The purpose of this study was to develop a fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of circulating fetal DNA in maternal plasma. Maternal DNA extracted from plasma samples of pregnant women at term and newborn DNA isolated from cord blood were used to genotype 12 mother/child pairs at nine different polymorphic short tandem repeat loci. Multiplex fluorescent PCR was used to detect fetus-specific alleles in the corresponding maternal plasma samples. Fetus-specific alleles were found in all maternal plasma samples studied. Using these polymorphic repeat sequences, every mother/child pair was informative in at least four of nine loci. Paternally inherited fetal alleles were detected in 84% of informative short tandem repeats. This approach may have implications for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. Compared with other fetal DNA detection systems that use fetus-derived Y sequences to detect only male fetal DNA in maternal plasma, our proposed technique can be applied to both female and male fetuses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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