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17 of August, 2022
3 Ways In Which A Prenatal Paternity Test Can Get Contaminated

Prenatal DNA testing has become quite prominent in recent years. Furthermore, with a reduction in the cost of prenatal genetic testing, the procedure is even more accessible to expectant couples. Apart from screening for genetic defects and identifying gender, it can also help determine the paternity of the child. With a blood sample from the mother and a cheek swab from the potential father, it’s simple to ascertain the unborn child’s paternity. However, there are some cases where the results might turn out inconclusive or incorrect, primarily due to a form of contamination while taking the test. 3 such cases will be discussed below. 

Possible reasons behind inconclusive prenatal paternity test.

Presence Of Food, Tobacco Or Alcohol In The Sample

It is advised to not drink, smoke or consume food at least an hour before taking the test. This is because these particles can still be present in the mouth and can cling to the cheek. Although they don’t alter DNA by any means, these particles can mask its presence, thereby contaminating the sample. Hence, such a sample can’t be used for a prenatal paternity test.


Using Spit Instead Of Cheek Cells

Many DNA testing companies might promise to deliver accurate results with only a saliva sample. However, saliva is far more likely to contain food particles. Moreover, it also has a lower concentration of DNA. Hence, don’t interchange cheeks cells with saliva. Always use a buccal swab to rub the inside of the potential father’s cheek to collect proper material. Failing to follow proper procedures might require one to retake the test.


Cross Contamination With Swabs

This can occur when a lab technician mishandles swabs while taking the sample. While dropping the swab or not storing it properly are easy mistakes to avoid, it is also necessary to not hold it by the tip, which one can easily forget. Swabs should always be held at the center while collecting a sample, air-dried to remove any presence of saliva, and then immediately stored in an appropriate envelope.


In conclusion, being aware of these 3 mistakes can help prevent unnecessary contamination. 


To conduct accurate, affordable DNA tests during pregnancy, reach out to us at Prenatal Genetics Lab. A pioneer in human DNA diagnostics, our lab is run by leading research scientists who are experts in this field. To know more about pricing and shipping details, contact us today.

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