To participate, pregnant individuals are required to provide written informed consent, complete a short questionnaire and provide a blood sample. Demographic data collected includes previous and current health status, ethnicity, method of conception, and BMI parameters.
Fifteen mL of whole blood is collected in Serum Separator Tubes (SST, BD) and Lavender Tubes (KEDTA, BD) by trained phlebotomists using standardized conditions. Blood samples are centrifuged at 4000rpm for 10 minutes within eight hours of collection, aliquoted into 0.5 mL cryovials, and stored at –80 degrees Celsius.
Samples are analyzed in a timely manner for various laboratory parameters, including: liver enzymes, immune parameters, thyroid hormones, key chemistry, and haematology assays. All analytical methods are controlled according to manufacturers’ instructions via preventive maintenance and function checks, calibration, and quality control. All tests are subject to automated interference analysis for hemolysis, icterus, and turbidity.