Indexed on: 07 Oct '14Published on: 07 Oct '14Published in: Forensic Science International: Genetics
The RapidHIT™ 200 Human Identification System was evaluated to determine its suitability for STR analysis of single source buccal swabs. Overall, the RapidHIT™ 200 performed as well as our traditional capillary electrophoresis based method in producing useable profile information on a first-pass basis. General observations included 100% concordance with known profile information, consistent instrument performance after two weeks of buccal swab storage, and an absence of contamination in negative controls. When data analysis was performed by the instrument software, 95.3% of the 85 samples in the reproducibility study gave full profiles. Including the 81 full profiles, a total of 2682 alleles were correctly called by the instrument software, or 98.6% of 2720 possible alleles tested. Profile information was generated from as little as 10,000 nucleated cells, with swab collection technique being a major contributing factor to profile quality. The average peak-height-ratio for heterozygote profiles (81%) was comparable to conventional STR analysis, and while a high analytical threshold was required when offline profile analysis was performed (800 RFU), it was proportionally consistent with traditional methods. Stochastic sampling effects were evaluated, and a manageable approach to address limits of detection for homozygote profiles is provided. These results support consideration of the RapidHIT™ 200 as an acceptable alternative to conventional, laboratory based STR analysis for the testing of single source buccal samples, with review of profile information as a requirement until an expert software system is incorporated, and when proper developmental and internal validation studies have been completed.