Two of the most commonly available methods for DNA testing are blood tests, known as Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism, or buccal scrapes, which is a swab rubbed vigorously against the inside of a subject’s cheek.

Occasionally, we have customers that request blood testing because they want to ensure they are receiving the most accurate results. However, since DNA is the same in every cell of the human body, the accuracy of a buccal swab is equal to taking an actual blood sample.

Overall, while results remain the same, buccal swabs are often less invasive and provide advantages over blood sampling for both the client and test provider. Here are two main advantages of using buccal swabs over blood samples for DNA tests:

1. A more comfortable test for patients.

Buccal swabs are non-invasive and therefore, have become a far easier and more comfortable method to collect DNA than blood samples. There are no needles required, so clients will feel more at ease, which is highly effective considering the ample stress that surrounds DNA testing.

2. An easier way to generate lab results.

Scientists actually prefer buccal swabs over blood samples, since the process for extracting DNA from buccal swabs is much easier. Again, when scientists analyze DNA, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method is used for both buccal swabs and blood samples – so the results between buccal swabs and blood tests will be the same.

Finally, buccal swabs do not require refrigeration as do blood tests and can last for up to six months after the collection has been taken. Some might say this makes for a more flexible and reliable testing method.

With the benefits of buccal swabs in mind, there are a few precautions that subjects and testers should take when using buccal swabs:

  • Bacteria can attack the cells containing DNA if not dried and stored
  • Since the cells are not visible, there is no way to visually verify DNA is present

Although there are some drawbacks to using buccal swabs, when processed and handled by a trustworthy laboratory, DNA samples from the mouth, or cheek, will be accurate. Finding a lab that will carefully handle and analyze your results is key to safeguarding your testees and getting the best results.

99DNA Testing’s testing laboratory is accredited by AABB, CLIA, ASCLD/LAB-International, ACLASS, CAP, and others.

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