A collaborative genetic carrier screening model for the British Ashkenazi Jewish community
We present a unique model of a British genetic carrier screening programme for individuals with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry that exemplifies a partnership between a publicly funded healthcare service (the NHS) and a charity, Jnetics. This model provides affordable access to carrier screening for severe autosomal recessive diseases increased in this community. Prior to the development of this programme, the British healthcare system only provided Tay Sachs’ screening for this community, leaving them at higher risk of having a child with a serious autosomal recessive disease. The Jnetics screening programme is promoted through community and social media campaigns, involves educational outreach, a pre-test genetic counselling service by a dedicated NHS-based genetic counsellor, saliva-based DNA testing, comprehensive reporting and, where required, post-test genetic counselling. The charity raises funds to subsidise the screening. In 6 years, the model has been successfully implemented in hospital and community settings and in schools and universities, aiming to reach those pre-conception. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme adapted by offering genetic screening virtually and has subsequently expanded in its outreach. Furthermore, the screening panel is currently being expanded to include other conditions increased in the Ashkenazi and also the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish communities. An example of innovation and accessibility, providing free screening to all students and disadvantaged individuals, the programme aims to provide a model that can potentially be adopted by other genetically at-risk communities.
Link to article including link to pdf, A collaborative genetic carrier screening model for the British Ashkenazi Jewish community
A collaborative genetic carrier screening model for the British Ashkenazi Jewish community. 2022: 133-135. https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1007/s12687-021-00568-7