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Exploring Alternatives to Buccal Swabs for DNA Sampling

No, buccal swabbing isn't the sole method for obtaining a DNA sample. Current advancements in science and medicine have made it possible to perform accurate DNA tests from any cellular material in the body. From a single hair strand to a piece of a broken nail, extracting DNA is now more versatile than ever.

Opting for Non-Buccal Samples

In France, establishing paternity connections often necessitates finding alternative sampling methods, particularly in situations where buccal swabs are not viable, such as with missing persons or the deceased.

Fortunately, laboratories have adapted to analyze various sample types. Although non-standard samples may slightly influence the reliability rate due to the sample's nature and its age, accurate analyses are still achievable.

Significance of Sample Age

The viability of a sample for testing hinges on its material content and age. These factors critically affect the success rate of extracting usable DNA.

Extraction Success Rates

DNA extraction success rates surpass 90% with certain samples, such as a femur bone, freshly preserved sperm, or blood within 30 to 60 days of collection. These samples, if properly preserved, can provide highly reliable results.

The success rate ranges from 70% to 90% for samples including tissues, nails, dried blood spots, muscle tissues, or fresh organs not subjected to embalming processes, as well as liquid sperm or the umbilical cord.

Conversely, success rates might drop below 70% for certain biological tissues or when extracting DNA from objects that have been in close contact with the subject: cigarette ends, teeth, post-mortem tissues, razors, hair, toothbrushes, chewing gum, straws, cans, baby feeding bottles, etc.

Collection Best Practices

The manner of sample collection can greatly influence both the integrity of the sample and the accuracy of test results. To minimize contamination and ensure sample integrity, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Commence with thoroughly washed hands.
  • Utilize gloves or employ methods to avoid direct touch to prevent DNA contamination.
  • Store the sample in a container or envelope that is both airtight and sterile.
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