Cost of DNA/genetic test in Nigeria

There are different types of DNA/genetic testing such as paternity tests, gene tests, and chromosome tests. The cost of DNA tests in Nigeria will vary depending on the type.

A lab technician taking blood sample for DNA test with a syringe

Once you mention a DNA test, people tend to assume you are referring to a paternity test because it is one of the most popular reasons for conducting a DNA test. However, DNA/genetic testing can be done for different purposes, all of which are beneficial.

One big limitation of DNA testing in Nigeria is that the number of centers that perform them are limited, and the price can be quite exorbitant. The high cost of DNA tests in countries like Nigeria and the limited resources is one of the reasons why most people do not go for it.

Also, because most people in the country do not have health insurance that would cover medical procedures like genetic testing, most people cannot pay for them out-of-pocket.

This article will discuss the meaning of DNA, types of DNA, cost of DNA test in Nigeria, places where you can perform DNA testing in Nigeria, and uses of DNA tests.

Meaning of DNA/genetic testing

DNA/genetic testing is a medical test that can be done to check changes in the genes, chromosomes, or proteins in your body. They are done using tissues like blood, hair, and amniotic fluid.

Most importantly, DNA/Genetic testing provides much information about the genes that make up each individual.

The test can help confirm any genetic condition and check if you have a chance of developing a genetic disorder.

The DNA test can also confirm if you have any abnormal mutated gene that you may likely pass to your child.

How much DNA test costs in Nigeria in 2022

The cost of carrying out one DNA test in Nigeria ranges from about N70,000 to N200,000.

How much you will pay for a DNA test in Nigeria will depend on your location, the hospital, and the type of test to be carried out. It will also depend on your insurance coverage (if you have one).

If your company is working with an HMO responsible for your health insurance, you should check with them to see if they cover procedures like DNA tests.

The cost of a DNA test in Nigeria also varies depending on the reason for the test. Some people carry out DNA tests to ascertain that a child is theirs (for peace of mind). In other cases, it is carried out for legal purposes or formal matters like immigration. DNA tests in Nigeria for legal tussles or formal issues cost more than that carried out for peace of mind.

If you are carrying out a DNA test for peace of mind in Nigeria, it could cost about 70,000-100,000 Naira. DNA tests for legal cases could cost up to N150,000.

Are you wondering which HMO to use for your health insurance? Check out some of the best HMOs in Nigeria.

Types of DNA tests

DNA testing can be classified into the following:

1.Chromosome test

A chromosome test is carried out to study your chromosomes. Chromosomes are thread-like structures made up of DNA and proteins. These are organized into structures called genes. They are found in the nucleus of each cell.

Chromosomes contain the genetic information of an organism and determine the sex of an individual. Males have XY chromosomes while females have XX chromosomes.

With chromosome tests, you can identify if changes in the order of genes cause abnormal genetic conditions. For instance, where there is an extra copy of a chromosome, a missing copy of a chromosome, or rearrangements of segments of chromosomes, they can be detected through a chromosome test.

2.Gene test

Gene is the unit of inheritance. Gene tests can be used to check for changes in your genes. These changes increase your chance of developing a genetic disorder.

Geneticists can study one gene, a few genes, or your entire DNA by running gene tests.

3.Protein test

Proteins serve as structural support, hormones, enzymes, building blocks, biochemical catalysts, and initiators of cellular death.

Protein tests can be used to check for the products of chemical reactions in our cells. It can also be used to analyze the enzyme activity in our cells. Enzymes are proteins in the body that help speed up the metabolism or the chemical reactions in our bodies.

If any problem occurs with your proteins, it can indicate changes in your DNA that can likely lead to a genetic condition.

4.Molecular tests

Molecular tests are carried out to check for changes in one or more genes. Molecular tests have different scopes, which include:

  • Single gene test - If a genetic change occurs with one gene, it can be detected using a single gene test. This test is usually carried out when there is a need to make a specific diagnosis.
  • Gene panel - Gene panel is done when a person has symptoms that point to many conditions. For instance, epilepsy can have many genetic causes So, a gene panel will be needed if there is a variant in one of the genes.
  • Targeted single variant - If a specific variant known for causing a particular disorder is present, a targeted single variant test will be done. For example, the HBB gene causes sickle cell disease, so when it is present, this test can be carried out to ascertain if the disorder is truly present. This test is usually carried out for family members with a variant that causes specific conditions.
  • Whole exome sequencing/whole genome sequencing - A genome is responsible for providing the information an organism needs to function. This is advanced testing used when a single gene and panel testing do not give the desired result. This is the best test to analyze the bulk of DNA to find genetic variations.

Where to do DNA tests in Nigeria

DNA testing has gained increasing popularity in Nigeria over the years. Many laboratory centers support the test. You will find many test centers in Lagos and Abuja, but if you are in other parts of the country, you can also find DNA test centers.

If you are not sure which laboratory in your state conducts the test, you can ask your family doctor or make inquiries at a hospital close to you.

With that said, below are some popular DNA test centers in Nigeria where you can get your DNA test done.

Some DNA test centers in Nigeria

S/N

Name of Center

Location

1

Clina-Lancet Laboratories

3 Babatunde Jose off Adetokubo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria

2

DDC (Nigeria)

1679 Karimu Kotun Street, Lagos Island, Lagos State

3

DNA centre for paternity tests

73 Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria

4

DNA Labs Nigeria

Q5 Danja Road, Off Katuru Road, Unguwar Sari, Kaduna State Nigeria

5

easyDNA Nigeria

No 2 Omilani Street, Ijeshatedo Surulere, Lagos

7

Paternity test Nigeria

Plot 79 Bamgbose Street, Lagos Island, Lagos Nigeria

8

DNABank

Molecular Systematics & Palynology Laboratory, Department of Botany University of Lagos, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria

9

Identi Gene Nigeria

Plot 578, Cadastral Zone B09, Kado Estate, Kado District, Abuja FCT Nigeria

10

Smart DNA Nigeria

42, Ajose street, Mende, Maryland, Lagos

Importance/uses of DNA test

DNA tests can be used for different purposes. They include:

1.Paternity test

This is one aspect of DNA testing most people know about.

With DNA testing, you can confirm the actual parent of a child. It can be done out of curiosity, or in cases of family conflicts.

2.Prenatal genetic testing

This is one of the newest advancements in medicine. With this test, it will be easy to detect any health problems in the fetus (unborn baby). This helps to detect the probability of certain diseases occurring and also gives room for early treatment.

3.Archaeology

DNA testing is gaining wide acceptance in the field of archaeology. With DNA tests, archaeologists can now keep genetic records showing the progression of life throughout centuries.

For historical purposes, archaeologists use DNA tests to look into the evolving pattern of different groups of ancient humans.

4.Finding genetic ancestors

With DNA tests, you can understand the ethnic origins of different generations. This means running a DNA test can help you understand your genetic heritage.

5.Criminal investigation

DNA tests have been used to investigate crime scenes. It can be used when investigating both recent crime scenes and older ones.

How is DNA/genetic testing done

The samples usually collected for DNA test depends on the suspected disorder or the reason for the test.

The most common samples collected for DNA tests are skin, hair, blood sample, and amniotic fluid (which protects the fetus in the womb).

Once the desired sample is collected, it will be sent to the technicians in the labs. The technicians will then check for changes in the DNA, proteins, and chromosomes.

If your reason for undergoing a DNA test was to find out if you are at risk of developing a health condition, your doctor will discuss with your the benefits, limitations, and consequences of the test result.

If the result shows you are at higher risk of the health condition, you will need to follow up your test with genetic counseling.

Take away

DNA/genetic tests are always efficient and reliable when done correctly. The most popular use of DNA tests is for paternity tests.

If you want to run a DNA test in Nigeria, it will cost you about N70,000-N200,000, depending on the type of DNA test you want to run. Also, keep in mind that some testing facilities charge more, for instance, it will be more costly to run the test in a private test center.

References

  1. LaPelusa A, and Kaushik R. (2021). Physiology, Proteins
  2. MedlinePlus. (2021). How is genetic testing done?
  3. Pathak K and Bordoni B. (2022). Genetics, Chromosomes