Carrier term is used for an individual who carries a genetic mutation and can pass it on to their offspring. Carrier usually does not show any sign or symptoms of the disease but they carry a single gene of that mutation which can cause the disease in their offspring. These types of carriers inherit the disease as a recessive trait.
Some of the diseases that can be carried by asymptomatic carriers are:
Although your doctor might not be able to tell if you are a carrier or not simply by looking at you, you can find out about it through carrier screening. Carrier screening is a genetic test that is used to determine if a healthy-looking person is a carrier of a single gene disease and the probability of you passing that gene to your child.
The major flaw about being a carrier is that a carrier does not know that they are a carrier until it’s too late and have already passed the disease to their children.
Who should consider a carrier genetic testing/ screening?
There are chances that a carrier might pass the disease in their offspring but the situation is not completely hopeless. Since a carrier only has one allele that might cause the disease and two alleles are required from both the parents for the child to develop the disease. So getting both the parents checked to look for any recessive gene that might cause trouble is advised.