Is there a genetic test for chimerism?

FYI regarding chimerism - it is extremely, extremely rare. So rare that it’s more likely a person would win the lottery twice than actually have chimerism. Chimerism, when it does exist, it affects the body in a wide range of ways. Sometimes the chimerism will only affect skin cells but not immune system cells, other times it may impact liver cells but not any other cells, etc. - there’s no way to know.If a person really does have chimerism, both of kits will not be impacted and will work fine if the chimerism does not impact the person’s white blood cells called leukocytes and the oral epithelial cells. As long as those two tissues are not impacted by chimerism then kits will obtain the single DNA data that exists within those tissues, which will be predominate genetic code throughout the person’s body.If the chimerism affects their white blood cells and/or their oral epithelial cells then the following may occur:

  • The test may fail because two different sets of DNA is detected.
  • The test may generate data but an abnormally high percentage may be of low quality since the tests are not configured to process two different sets of DNA.
  • The test may generate data of normal quality. For example, even if chimerism impacts the epithelial cells inside a person’s mouth and they rub the swab on those cells, the swab may collect a majority of cells all with the same DNA so the test will process this DNA without issue. Even if a person swabs both sides of their mouth, the same could happen - there could be an over abundance of cells with the same DNA and then the test will process that DNA since the concentration of that DNA is above the threshold.

The above is meant to convey that preforming genetic testing on a person who really has chimerism is an unknown. There’s no way to predict what will happen and oftentimes the results will look no different from a person without chimerism

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