Urine samples and DNA testing
Can it be used for a paternity DNA Test?
There are many DNA samples that can be used for a paternity test. People often inquire about urine and whether one can use this sample for a paternity test. You might wish to know more about this sample to understand why this sample is not suitable for this test and other alternative sample that can perhaps be used.
Urine samples: Is there any DNA in it?
Urine samples are not used for DNA testing whether it is for a paternity DNA test or any other DNA test. DNA testing is highly accurate and reliable however, the type of sample used in a paternity test plays a very important role in determining the feasibility of the test.
What is the difference between Urine DNA sample and, for example, blood or saliva?
Urine is not a high success DNA sample because it does not contain cells (remember DNA is found in all nucleated cells in our body and no cells means no DNA). Even if urine does contain some cells, their concentration in it is very low. Urine is made up of 3 main components:
Depending on what you have drank or eaten there may be other chemicals and metabolites, for example ammonia and alcohol.
Urine is produced by the kidneys through the filtration of blood. During the filtration of blood some DNA fragments can find their way into our urine and some cells may be collected as one micturates (urinates). However, cells or DNA are not considered to be a natural constituent of urine and thus, DNA present in urine will often not suffice for a paternity DNA test.
Blood, on the other hand, is a highly successful sample because blood is made up cells. In fact, blood components are the following:
Red blood cells (non-nucleated and thus, containing no DNA)
White blood cells (nucleated and thus, contain DNA)
Blood plasma (yellowish matrix in which blood cells are suspended; contains no DNA)
Saliva DNA samples collected using a mouth swab will remove, through the friction caused by the rubbing action, cheek cells which detach themselves by the thousands with a single swipe; cheek cells are a type of cell known as epithelial cells and contain DNA.
Both blood (especially a medical blood draw) and a saliva sample gathered with a swab are high success rate samples.
So I can't use urine for my DNA paternity Test?
Urine can be used for your DNA paternity test. However, it is a very low success rate sample. There is a good chance that laboratory analysis may not be able to extract enough DNA to do the test. You may be able to choose advanced discreet sample testing which would mean using DNA testing techniques that are not used in standard DNA testing. Advanced testing is used when samples are likely degraded or offer an extremely low success rate and thus, paternity DNA testing using such samples would not be conclusive under standard laboratory conditions.
Advanced testing entails a considerable added cost. If you have absolutely no other sample to use, laboratories may offer the possibility to carry out advanced testing. Make sure to be fully advised if you are thinking of using a urine DNA sample for the DNA test.
Ideally, the urine sample should be freshly urinated- this already creates a problem as there is a lot of time lost between collecting the sample and the sample arriving at the laboratory. Urine collected from the toilet bowl will most definitely be unsuitable as there are often cleaning chemicals and disinfectants already in the water that will degrade the DNA. Most DNA testing companies will not test urine.
DNA samples for DNA testing - how to store them?
Different DNA samples have different methods of sampling and storage. You have to be well aware of exactly how to collect samples (for example, if you are thinking of using hair, you will need the root attached and if you are thinking of sending in a sweaty top you would need to make sure that this was in direct contact with the skin and not a second layer of clothing). Moreover, how you store the sample is important. If you are using an oral mouth swab for DNA testing or a used Kleenex, you need to allow these to dry before sealing them into an envelope as fungal spores may germinate if left humid.
With DNA in urine there could be some problems. Besides the fact that many times it is just DNA fragments that are presents, urine is acidic and if left to stand bacteria begin to act on it creating other corrosive chemicals like ammonia which could cause the DNA to degrade; this would make the sample unlikely useful to conclude your paternity DNA test.
PCR - Polymerase chain reaction
A method of amplification and replication of DNA that makes is possible for scientists to work with tiny samples of DNA, for example, the DNA found in a minute stain on a fragment of old cloth.
ISO Accredited Paternity Testing
- easyDNA UK
You can read about and buy a fully accredited paternity test here. A simple call and you will have everything explained in detail and can discuss your specific case and needs with someone competent in the field.
- easyDNA South Africa
Specialist in South Africa for paternity testing
- Paternity Tests in Ireland
Paternity Tests provider in Ireland. Website offers extensive information, prices and contacts. Full customer care assistance.
Types of DNA samples you may want to consider
- Discreet DNA samples- DNA samples commonly used
Here is a list of DNA samples that are often used for a paternity DNA test. You shouldbe aware of laws and norms governing sample collection and who DNA samples belong to in some countries as sometimes it is not possible to take a DNA sample from som
- UK Human Tissue Act
The UK Human Tissue Act of 2004 regulates how Human Tissue is used. Human tissue cannot be taken without the consent of the person to whom the tissue belongs to. This means that no DNA sample can be taken from a person without them knowing and withou
Forensic DNA analysis
Forensic DNA analysis is a very interesting branch of genetics and DNA testing. Understanding how DNA is extracted from different samples and how external conditions impact the structure of DNA, perhaps making the sample in question unusable is just the tip of the iceberg in this complex science.