Aïcha (A.) Ait Soussan


Hoger Laboratorium onderwijs (HLO)

Research interests

Fetal DNA in maternal plasma.
In the Netherlands all pregnant women are screened for irregular erythrocyte antibodies (IEA). Once an IEA is detected, it is important to know the genotype of the fetus by means of PCR based method for blood group typing. These assays can be performed with fetal DNA obtained via invasive means, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. These procedures still carry a risk for the fetus, with a pregnancy loss rate of about 0.3%. Recently Lo et al. described the presence of fetal DNA in maternal plasma and serum. Cell-free DNA offered a new source of fetal genetic material for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. Sanquin, CLB (Faas et al. 1998) have shown that the RhD-factor of the unborn child can be reliably determined with use of cell-free fetal DNA that circulates in maternal peripheral blood. Other groups have determined the fetal sex, as part of the evaluation of inherited X-linked disease. We have set up a fully automated RHD fetal DNA genotyping assays. We are developing other relevant blood group assay as Kell, RhD c and RhD E for fetal DNA genotyping assays with different techniques. Further more we develop in collaboration with different European partners from the FR-6 Network of Excellence, project SAFE PCR assays for positive control for the presence of fetal DNA.


Applied research in combination with fundamental research


2001-present Sanquin Research
1997-2001 Hoger Laboratorium onderwijs (HLO)
1991-1997 HAVO