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South African Medical Research Council South Africa | Cape Town
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Sport Genetic Testing

The Sports Injury GeneScreen is a non-diagnostic DNA test consisting of eight DNA sequence variants within five clinically useful genes associated with the risk of sustaining common tendon and ligament injuries. The genetic test is performed in conjunction with a physical activity history and a medical examination by a health care professional. The results, together with clinical indicators and lifestyle factors, identify an increased risk for tendon and ligament injuries."

Relevant intellectual property protection in place for this technology.
Registerable IP
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Brief description of the technology’s market need.

The test is aimed at physically active individuals and athletes who partake in sports that involve lunging and jumping, or a rapid change in direction, sudden stopping, landing following jumping, or direct contact, and are thus at increased risk of tendon and ligament (soft tissue) injuries.
These elite and recreational athletes may consider genetic testing as a preventative measure, as the consequences of soft tissue injury may be devastating. Such injuries could prevent these athletes from reaching their full potential or cause a premature termination of their sports career.

While there is no single cause for chronic Achilles tendinopathy or anterior cruciate ligament ruptures (two very common injuries in high-performance athletes), it is thought that a combination of environmental and genetic risk factors, which interact in a complex manner that is not yet completely understood, and collectively result in sports injuries. Thus, genetic testing may be useful to increase awareness about the importance of genetic predisposition and minimising environmental risk factors. Especially risks that can be modified to reduce injuries. These include occupational health and ergonomic measures, wearing the correct footwear, correcting training errors, avoiding certain medication and controlling for ideal body mass index (BMI).

What is tested?
Sports Injury GeneScreen™ is a non-diagnostic DNA assay that tests for the presence of 8 known genetic variations in 5 clinically useful genes, which are associated with the risk of sustaining common tendon and ligament injuries.
The genetic test is performed in conjunction with a clinical assessment, including documentation of previous sports injuries and the physical activity history. Genes expression profiles are included in the risk score, as is the influence of a high-risk environment.
The Sports Injury GeneScreen™ combines years of scientific research on the genetic factors associated with soft tissue injuries with the unique software platform and business model of GKnowmix to deliver risk profiles which can directly be used to inform training and health approaches for athletes.

Brief description of the technology’s benefits.

GeneScreen™ offers a method to identify genetic risk factors associated with a predisposition to soft tissue injuries, this allows for improved interventions and management programmes by health practitioners for athletes to avoid such injuries. The knowledge of their risk factors empowers individuals to take responsibility for their injury prevention measures by reducing their exposure to the risk factors they can control. Armed with the knowledge of their risk profile, athletes can initiate comprehensive preventative programmes to mitigate their injury risk and optimise sporting achievements.

The technology was developed by an organisation in the following sector(s).
Public research organisation
The industry(s) relevant to the technology. Which industries can benefit from this technology?
Human health and veterinary activities
The technology area relevant to the technology.
Genetic testing - health
The Technology Readiness Level of the available technology. For more information on the Technology Readiness Levels, please follow the link: Technology Readiness Levels
TRL 9: System ready for full scale deployment
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