When samples for paternity testing are sent to the IDENTIGENE laboratory, the DNA carried within the cheek swabs could become contaminated a few different ways. How can you avoid this from happening? Here are a few tips.
Paternity test DNA collection
When you collect the DNA samples for a paternity test, there are a few rules you want to follow:
First, don’t eat or drink, smoke, brush your teeth, etc. for at least one hour before doing the cheek swab collections. The food/drink or any other matter can mask the DNA making it unusable for paternity tests. Although re-collections are completed one time at no cost to you, it can take more time before you get your paternity test results. You don’t want to have to wait any longer than you have to…right?
Collection of the DNA samples for the paternity test
Swabs may become contaminated by contact with anther person’s DNA, maybe by someone who is collecting the sample. This can happen by someone inadvertently handling the tips of the swab, or dropping the swab. According to Dr. Donna Housley, the IDENTIGENE lab director, “Sometimes the swabs are contaminated because people mix up the envelopes and put swabs from 2 different people in the same envelope, this is quite common. Also if a person has ever had a bone marrow transplant or a recent blood transfusion the profile could come back contaminated because we see two profiles from one individual when we amplify the DNA.”
When submitting DNA samples for paternity testing, avoid the original plastic packaging
Something else you want to avoid is placing the DNA collection swabs back into the plastic wrapper it originally arrived in. You want to place the samples directly into the paper envelope provided in the IDENTIGENE DNA collection kit.
Keep in mind the collection envelopes may become wet because, unfortunately, saliva does affix itself to the cheek cells that are needed to extract the DNA. If this does happen, you will want to lay the sample envelope down on a clean counter and let them air dry at room temperature. Sometimes when wet sample envelopes are mailed, they rip and this could contaminate all of the samples, including samples of other participants.
DNA sample collection to help make your paternity test easy
Follow these tips and all of the other instructions included inside of the IDENTIGENE DNA collection kit and your samples will most likely arrive at our laboratory ready for paternity testing, and you will receive your paternity test results on time.