JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a shocking recent revelation, a DNA test carried out in an Israeli hospital on an embryo implanted in a woman via in vitro fertilization showed no genetic link to either of its parents.
It remains unknown whose child the woman — in her third trimester of pregnancy — is carrying.
Israel’s Health Ministry said last week that it will soon bring in for genetic testing couples treated at approximately the same time period in the fertility lab at the Assuta Hospital.
The hospital, located in the central Israeli city of Rishon Letzion, said it launched a special helpline for providing information on the matter, within the bounds of medical confidentiality.
Responding to the matter, The IVF laboratory manager at Assuta Medical Center in Rishon Lezion claimed Tuesday that a “certain percentage” of women who undergo in vitro fertilization carry an embryo that is not their own.
“There is a certain percentage of women who carry a pregnancy that is not theirs or give birth to a child that is not exactly theirs,” the unidentified manager told Channel 12.
When asked if there may have been other IVF mix-ups in his lab, the manager said that this had likely occurred in “all labs” throughout the country.
There have not been any reported incidents of IVF mix-ups outside of the Assuta Medical Center network, which has locations throughout Israel.
“You haven’t heard about these stories simply because they haven’t surfaced. A couple who undergoes treatment and has a child is not going to check for genetic affiliation,” the manager said.
Responding to the man’s assertion, Assuta Medical Center said it was “erroneous,” adding that “as far as we are aware, there are no additional cases.” It said its investigation into the case was ongoing.
The manager also said that they had not yet located the biological embryo of the pregnant woman, nor had they successfully identified whose embryo had been implanted in her.
On Friday, the hospital announced it had narrowed the list of potential mothers of the embryo from 40 to 10 .
The manager added that the Health Ministry and professionals were examining the lab’s procedures and that the lab would address any findings. In the meantime the ministry has closed the lab to further treatments.
The Assuta hospital is one of the busiest IVF clinics in Israel, performing about a quarter of the annual procedures in the country.