Blood versus Saliva Paternity Testing
Whether or not saliva can replace blood for DNA collection in analysis was a huge questions in 2012. However, nothing has really changed. We get asked all the time whether or not blood or saliva is more accurate for DNA Paternity Testing. The answer is they are the SAME.
Blood seems like the best route, and we understand when our patients prefer a blood test. We support you 100% and can order the test to be done via blood. However, we want to inform you that it is not more accurate. It is more expensive, more invasive, more frightening for the child, and more painful. Yet, it does not give you any better results.
Let's look at this logically. Saliva (your spit) is a fluid from inside your body just like blood. Your spit is created by your body just like your blood is created by your body. Ergo, your saliva is unique to you just like your blood is unique to you! Believe me, I never thought about it like that either.
Saliva is also faster. When you have blood work done, they verify your little tube, tie off your arm, open a sanitary needle, connect that whole setup together, and THEN you get stuck. Yeesh! That's a lot of preparation and a lot of anticipation for that tiny stick. With a saliva sample, we just open up that sterile swab, rub it inside your cheek, and it's all over! It also takes us less time to break down the DNA inside the saliva than it does with the blood, making your results available at a fast rate.
What you don't realize when we take the sample is we also grab some cells from the mucosal lining of the cheek with that tiny swab. It's so simple and quick that you don't even feel it. This is part of what provides the DNA we need, and why we just don't have you spit in a cup or someones' used toothbrush or cigarette butt.
The Science behind Blood versus Saliva Paternity Testing
If you want more specifics on the study of which is more accurate and why we use saliva in standard DNA Testing, check out this 3 part blog by Genetic Link.