What is TriScreen?

The TriScreen Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is an accurate, early prenatal screen for Down syndrome and other common chromosomal conditions.

The test only involves a simple blood draw from the pregnant mother and can be done from 10 weeks’ gestational age.

TriScreen is powered by Illumina.

The TriScreen NIPT Test uses the VeriSeq NIPT Solution from Illumina. TriScreen leverages next-generation sequencing (NGS) to perform whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on maternal samples. NGS is the most published method for performing NIPT and has shown higher detection rates and significantly fewer false positives than traditional screening methods.1-3

Fair and Balance: Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) based on cell-free DNA analysis from maternal blood is a screening test; it is not diagnostic. Test results must not be used as the sole bases for diagnosis. Further confirmatory testing is necessary prior to making any irreversible pregnancy decision. Illumina and the Powered by Illumina logo are trademarks of Illumina Inc. in the U.S and other countries.

Did you know that your baby’s DNA circulates in your bloodstream while you’re pregnant?

During pregnancy, some of your baby’s DNA enters your bloodstream.

A simple blood test early in your pregnancy can analyse this DNA, screening for common chromosomal conditions such as Down syndrome.


Imagine DNA as a piece of string. If you coil the DNA, it would form a structure called a chromosome. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 in total) within almost every cell in our body. One chromosome of each pair comes from our mother, and the other from our father. The first chromosome pairs are labelled 1-22. The last pair of these chromosomes are the sex chromosomes, which determine sex. Females usually have two X chromosomes, and males have an X and a Y chromosome. A change in the number of chromosomes can lead to a change in development. Having an extra copy of a chromosome is called a trisomy (three copies), while missing a copy of a chromosome (having only one copy) is called a monosomy. A trisomy or monosomy can result in a genetic condition, such as Down syndrome. Individuals with Down syndrome have 3 copies of chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21).


TriScreen – Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)

The TriScreen Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a simple blood test that analyses the DNA of an unborn baby, found in the mothers’ blood, to detect certain chromosomal conditions in a pregnancy.

The TriScreen NIPT can be done from as early as 10 weeks and is more accurate than an ultrasound and the maternal blood test to detect chromosomal conditions, providing a greater sense of comfort.

TriScreen screens your pregnancy for the following chromosomal conditions:

  • Down syndrome (Trisomy 21)
  • Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18)
  • Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13)
  • Sex chromosome conditions including Turner syndrome (Monosomy X) and Klinefelter
    syndrome (XXY)
  • Option of all chromosome testing (as advised by your Healthcare Provider).

TriScreen can be performed on:

  • Singleton pregnancies
  • Twin pregnancies
  • Donor pregnancies
  • IVF pregnancies (from 8 weeks post-implantation)
  • Surrogate pregnancies


Frequently Asked Questions

TriScreen can be performed on:
  • Singleton pregnancies
  • Twin pregnancies
  • Donor pregnancies
  • IVF pregnancies (from 8 weeks post-implantation)
  • Surrogate pregnancies
Testing Options

Singleton pregnancies:

  1. Chromosomes 21, 18, 13 and sex chromosome anomalies
  2. Chromosomes 21, 18, 13, sex chromosome anomalies and microdeletions*
  3. All chromosomes
  4. All chromosomes and microdeletions*

Twin pregnancies:

  1. Chromosomes 21, 18, 13 and presence/absence of Y chromosome (no anomalies tested of sex chromosomes)

Please note for options 2, 3 and 4 there is an extra cost and longer turnaround time.

*Microdeletions includes the following syndromes: 22q11 deletion (Di George); 15q11 deletion (Angelman/Prader-Willi); 1p36 deletion; 4p- (Wolf-Hirschhorn); 5p- (Cri-du-chat)

Where is testing done?

TriScreen NIPT uses a sample of the mother’s blood, which is sent to the Next Genetics Laboratory in Midrand, Johannesburg

How long will it take to get my results?

The results will be sent to your Requesting HCP within 7-10 working days from the date of blood draw.

Test Performance 3
Is NIPT safe for me and my pregnancy?

Yes, it is a simple blood test taken from your arm.

How do I know if NIPT is right for me?

NIPT is usually offered to pregnant women identified by their doctor to have a chance of a foetus with a missing or extra chromosome. NIPT offers a new choice to women to have accurate information about their pregnancy, from a simple blood draw, with little or no risk to their pregnancy.

How is the TriScreen NIPT performed?

This simple test only requires a single blood draw from your arm, and can be done from as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy. The TriScreen NIPT can be performed on singleton and twin pregnancies, as well as donor and surrogate pregnancies.

Does BMI or ethnicity affect the TriScreen NIPT?

The TriScreen NIPT is not affected by body mass index (BMI) or ethnic background.

Can the TriScreen NIPT test pregnancies conceived via assisted reproductive technologies (ART)?

Yes, TriScreen can test pregnancies conceived via ART, such as IVF.

Does the TriScreen NIPT require a cheek swab from the biological father?

No, apart from a blood sample from a pregnant mother, the TriScreen NIPT does not require any additional genetic information from any other person.

Do normal NIPT results mean that my baby is typical/ typically developing?

No test can guarantee that a baby will not have any medical issues. It does not test for all genetic and non-genetic problems that may be present in a baby. Genetic counselling before and after testing is recommended.

[1] American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Screening for fetal aneuploidy. Obstet Gynecol. 2016;127(5):e123-137.

[2] Bianchi DW, Parker RL, Wentworth J, et al. DNA sequencing versus standard prenatal aneuploidy screening. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(9):799-808.

[3] Data calculation on file. Illumina, Inc. 2017.