Blood vs Cheek swab DNA testing.

In my experience here I have spoken to thousands of customers.  Many of them have wondered if a cheek swab is enough.  Does blood give different data and would it be more accurate?  Simply answered, no.

A more detailed explanation would be that DNA is DNA.  So, the DNA that you have in your blood cells is the same DNA in the cheek cells used for DNA Paternity Testing.  Having your blood sample would not give us any additional data that would be helpful in determining the results of your test.

So, if you are one of many people worried that cheek swabs don’t seem as viable as blood sample, please be assured that it is.  And that your results would be the same whether we collected blood or cheek swabs.

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  1. I took a swab test a few months ago with a man i was told was my bio father, which came out that he is not my father. But the day we went to go set an appointment one of the employers told us things we should drink and what not to drink. What I can remember she mention that consuming coffee can effect the test or make it questionable. I’m over the fact that he is not my father but I am a tad curious if that is true, that if we consume an excess of coffee can mess the test?

    • Hi Tereza,
      We do recommend not consuming anything for 1 hour prior to DNA collection in order to reduce the chance of the swab becoming contaminated. Our lab does test for contamination upon receiving your samples. If our lab finds contamination, we will contact you and request a recollection in order to obtain a clean sample. Recollections are free or charge and we will send you the additional swabs. If a recollection is not necessary, or we do not contact you, your samples were not contaminated and testing will continue. I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any others questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our friendly client support at 1-888-404-GENE, Monday-Friday 9AM-8PM ET. Thank you for your comment!

  2. So blood test is as accurate as DNA testing even though plenty of guys out there with type B blood??? My son said baby is type B just like him…so this blood test at birth of baby is accurate and my son is the father???

    • Hi Cindy,

      Blood type testing is not a reliable form of paternity testing. Before DNA paternity testing, blood type tests offered the best clues for answering paternity testing using methods such as ABO blood typing, Serology and HLA testing. Unfortunately, these tests only offer a 30% exclusion rate, which is definitely not a conclusive result. If you would like to read more about this method of paternity testing, you can look at the link below:
      http://www.dnatesting.com/dna-test-resources/more-resources/genetipedia

  3. How many different parts are compaired in a DNA paternity test that involves 2 adults male and female and one child female?

    • Hi Ricardo,

      We currently test 15 markers or 15 areas/locations of DNA for each participant. A paternity test compares the mother and father with the child for matches or mismatches. If you have any other questions, please let us know! Thank you.

  4. My brother has been told he is the father of a baby. He has done 3 check swab tests with the baby. Two were negative, one was inconclusive. He is wondering if the baby’s sample could be contaminated because she is too young to follow the protocol of rinsing her mouth, or contaminated with breastmilk. If it is difficult to get a clean cheek swab sample from a baby, would that make them a better candidate for a blood test method for determining parentage?

    • Hi Alice,

      One reason he probably could have received two negative results and then an inconclusive result is if the mother didn’t participate on the last test. Since each child inherits half of the DNA of both of their parents, if the mother is not included in the test, it is sometimes difficult to tell if the DNA is really coming from the alleged father or not. This may yield an inconclusive result because they can’t tell either way if he is or is not the father.

      As for your question regarding the child being too young or the possibility of contamination, this will not effect the test results. No child is too young to test. Although there may be food contaminates, this only effects the ability to gather DNA. Sometimes if it is too contaminated, we aren’t able to extract enough DNA for testing. If his test was processed at IDENTIGENE, this means we were able to extract enough DNA for testing and he has no need to worry about sample contamination. Therefore, there is also no need for a blood test.

      If you have any other questions we can help you with, please let us know or feel free to contact our friendly client support staff at 1-888-404-4363.

  5. Then why does WEBMD state that DNA paternity tests should be through blood tests from the vain and mouth swab tests are not recommended?
    http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dna-fingerprinting

    • Thank you for posting. We are not sure why the WebMD site says this incorrect statement. We will bring it to the attention of our lab director, who sits on the board of the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), the leading accreditation body for DNA testing. A cheek swab is just as accurate as a blood sample. We will update this comment after speaking with our lab director.

      • When will this be updated with the lab directors comments?

        • Hi Lanzan,
          Content posted and responses are approved by lab directors. We make sure any content posted is accurate with the help of the highly trained scientists. If you have more questions, please call us at 1-888-404-GENE, Monday-Friday 9AM-6PM ET. Thank you for your comment!

  6. I have taken 2 swab DNA tests both came back thst Im not the father. Mother thinks thst because I smoke that it changef the results or that the baby had milk b4 the test. Pls help

    • Dear AJ, If you were honest with your testing (didn’t swab anyone other than yourself as the alleged father) then we would agree you are not the father. Smoking cannot change your DNA nor can liquids taken before testing. The reason Identigene advises to wait at least one hour after eating or drinking is because we want the buccal swab to only collect DNA not food or liquid. It can prohibit the DNA from adhearing to the swab. If this was the case, we would have not been able to pull DNA from the swabs and a retest would have been ordered. Since you received an answer, we were able to complete the testing and exclude you as the father.