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    Several methods of DNA collection are used in places or objects related to crimes, the most common being the use of swabs. However, it is known that the efficacy of touch DNA recovery can be affected by collection devices and surfaces. The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficiency of three different types of swab in recovering touch DNA collected from different parts of a vehicle. The following swabs were tested: PurFlock® swab (Puritan, USA), 4N6FLOQSwabs™ (Copan S.p.A., Italy), and cotton swab (Labor Import). The experiments were carried out in the same vehicle, using the gearshift knob, the parking brake lever, and the steering wheel as support for the collection of touch DNA. Swabs showed significant differences in the amount of DNA recovered (Hc = 53.52; p < 0.05) and in the rate of allele amplification (Hc = 24.3; p < 0.05). The results indicated a greater DNA recovery efficiency by PurFlock® swab, followed by cotton, and then 4N6FLOQSwabs™. However, there was no significant difference among the surfaces analyzed. PurFlock® swab was more efficient for recovering donor alleles than the others (cotton and 4N6FLOQSwabs™), especially for small DNA amounts. This swab was, therefore, suitable for collections in vehicles involved in crime. Furthermore, this study highlights the need to assess different materials and methods of collection of biological samples, considering collection, extraction, and amplification. © 2021 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


    Alexandre Giovanelli, Rodrigo Grazinoli Garrido, Alípio Rocha, Tatiana Hessab. Touch DNA recovery from vehicle surfaces using different swabs. Journal of forensic sciences. 2022 Mar;67(2):707-711

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    PMID: 34725823

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