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Antenatal diagnostics

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These include fœtal molecular biology and biochemistry, and testing for in utero infection.

Testing for the risk of Down syndrome and neural tube defects is done in maternal serum; separate protocols are used for 1st and 2nd trimester screening.

Eurofins Biomnis is also proud to offer Ninalia - a new Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) for aneuplodies of fetal chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X and Y, which uses the world leading Illumina technology. This is a non-invasive test requiring a maternal blood sample.  It can be done from 10 weeks of gestation onward and offers significantly greater accuracy (fewer false positives and fewer false negatives) than most NIPTs. For more details, please click here.

Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme that is specific to nervous system tissue and the neuromuscular junction. It is not normally found in amniotic fluid unless the foetus has a neural tube defect such as myelomengocele (anencephaly or spina bifida).

The management of toxoplasmosis and materno-foetal viral infections has considerably evolved over recent years due to major advances in diagnosis. Molecular biology techniques have led to significant improvements in the reliability of antenatal screening, although the sensitivity of genomic viruses or parasite detection in amniotic fluid still depends on the term of the pregnancy and the interval between contraction of the infection and specimen collection.


Eurofins Biomnis is fully accredited and has the specific technical resources and skills necessary when dealing with the genomic identification of infectious agents (cytomegalovirus, varicellavirus, parvovirus B19 and toxoplasmosis) that can damage the embryo or foetus. The current ideal technique is real-time PCR, the results of which may be consolidated by isolation of the infectious agent in tissue culture or by inoculation into laboratory animals.