DNA Paternity Testing - Specimen Type
Since all cells throughout the body of an individual possess the same genetic information, any type of fluid and tissue extracted from the body of that particular will provide an identical DNA pattern.
The preferred specimen types for any DNA test are blood and/or buccal swabs. This is due to the fact that both sample types can easily be collected directly with the consent of the patient. Although blood sampling was traditionally believed to be the "more accurate" method, buccal swab collections have gained acceptance and is now the typically preferred method, as it has been found to be non-invasive and is easier for transport and storage. At each specimen collection appointment, four buccal swabs (similar to cotton tips) are brushed with moderate strength along the patient's inner cheek. In doing so, loosely fixed cells which have gathered at this area will adhere to the swabs for subsequent extraction of DNA at the laboratory.
In circumstances where the participant of a DNA test is not available for a direct specimen collection (e.g., deceased, missing or non-cooperative), other sample types, such as semen, blood stains, hair, bone, and samples which have been in contact with the mouth, may be tested. Such specimen types are considered to be forensic samples, and if collected in a proper manner, will contain the same DNA information as blood or buccal swabs specimens.Next: Who Needs to be Involved? »