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19 of April, 2022
Why Buccal Swabs Are The Norm For Prenatal Paternity Tests?

When a couple is expecting, there are many tests and procedures that they may undertake, which might even include a non-invasive prenatal paternity test. To elaborate more on the paternity test, it is common information that the blood of the expectant mother and a cheek swab from the potential father are required to conduct this procedure. Furthermore, it has also been established that the mother’s blood contains cell-free fetal DNA that can help a lab obtain the DNA of the unborn child. However, why take a swab from the potential father, and why the cheek in particular? If you have wondered about this, then here’s the answer. 

Why do labs prefer cheek swabs for prenatal paternity tests?

Cheek swabs or buccal swabs are a simple, quick, pain-free procedure, where a swab is rubbed inside the cheek of the potential father for a few seconds to collect enough DNA samples. This DNA sample from the potential father is then compared with the DNA makeup of the fetus to determine paternity. 


There is also a common misconception among the general public that DNA is collected through saliva rather than the cheek cells. While this is partially true, saliva is a poor candidate when it comes to DNA collection, as it is often contaminated by other particles and bacteria and often, there aren’t enough cells in the saliva to conduct a prenatal paternity test. Furthermore, it would also need to be stored in special vials, thereby increasing the cost of the test. 


Conversely, buccal swabs are designed to trap as many cheek cells as possible. Moreover, the DNA sample obtained here is quite robust. Hence, they can be stored and used for repeated testing for up to 6 months. Lastly, they can simply be stored in a sample envelope, thus the cost of the test and storage is also quite economical.


In conclusion, it is evident that buccal swabs are the best way to conduct a prenatal paternity test over saliva. 


From prenatal paternity testing to accurate gender identification of the unborn child, you can get it all done at Prenatal Genetics Laboratory. A state-of-the-art facility that is run by research scientists, we are experts in the field of non-invasive human DNA diagnostics. To know more about our tests and prices, contact us today.

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