Analysis of rapid HIT application to touch DNA samples

Belinda Martin, Todd Kaesler, Adrian Linacre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rapid DNA technology is being utilized for reference profiles worldwide. There is also strong data in the literature to support its use for high-template DNA sources, the same is not true for low-template sources, such as touch DNA; this is a requirement before wider implementation to forensic casework is considered. We report on the Rapid HIT Intel cartridge's ability to facilitate successful amplification of touch DNA to obtain profiles from template deposited on items commonly encountered in forensic casework. Eight items were touched in ten replicates— two were tapelifted, three swabbed, and three directly inserted. Significance was observed in the alleles amplified and RFU with respect to sample type. Three samples performed well: cable tie, fabric, and matchstick. As two of these were directly inserted, this should be considered for any sample small enough. Placement of highly absorbent substrates into the cartridge is not advised as it can cause a lysate-pull error. Heterozygote loci often presented as homozygous (32%–78% loci per profile); this was influenced by substrate type and profile RFU. Loci with larger masses exhibited higher false homozygosity also. Comparison of the donor's profile analyzed was performed against previous datasets analyzing touch DNA through standard workflow, including manual DNA extraction, PCR, and CE separation. These data show that for all substrates, except for a fabric swatch, standard processing is preferential to Rapid HIT analysis. In its current form, rapid DNA technology is not fit for the routine analysis of touch DNA samples in forensic casework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1240
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Volume67
Issue number3
Early online date3 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • DNA profile
  • rapid DNA
  • rapid HIT
  • STR
  • touch DNA

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