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Sources of DNA Contamination and Decontamination Procedures in the Forensic Laboratory | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7145

Journal of Forensic Research
Open Access

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Research Article

Sources of DNA Contamination and Decontamination Procedures in the Forensic Laboratory

Mado Vandewoestyne, David Van Hoofstat, Sabine De Groote, Nicky Van Thuyne, Saskia Haerinck, Filip Van Nieuwerburgh, and Dieter Deforce*

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

*Corresponding Author:
Prof. Dieter Deforce
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Ghent University, Harelbekestraat
Ghent, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)9 264 80 52
Fax: +32(0)9 220 66 88
E-mail: [email protected]

Accepted Date: July 21, 2011; Published Date: July 28, 2011

Citation: Vandewoestyne M, Van Hoofstat D, De Groote S, Van Thuyne N, Haerinck S, et al. (2011) Sources of DNA Contamination and Decontamination Procedures in the Forensic Laboratory. J Forensic Res S2:001. doi:10.4172/2157-7145.S2-001

Copyright: © 2011 Vandewoestyne M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The sensitivity of forensic DNA typing techniques can cause problems when evidence samples are inadvertently contaminated with DNA from another source. Therefore, precautions need to be taken to minimize the risk of contamination . In this study, laboratory air and surfaces, tools and equipment we re evaluated as potential sources of contaminating DNA. Subsequently, two decontamination procedures, i.e. the conventionally used sodium hypochlorite and the commercially available DNA decontamination solution DNA ZAP TM (Applied Biosystems), wer e compared for their use in removing potentially contaminating DNA from the laboratory working environment.

From our results, it can be concluded that air is unlikely to be the source of observed DNA contamination in the laboratory whereas DNA accumulating on surfaces, tools and equipment within the laboratory environment may potentially be transferred to evidence samples. DNA ZAP TM outperformed the conventionally used sodium hypochlorite decontamination procedure. Stringent preventive measures and decontamination of equipment and laboratory surfaces is important to avoid secondary transfer of this contaminating DNA to evidence samples.


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