Traditionally, forensic DNA analysis has required highly skilled forensic geneticists in a dedicated laboratory to generate short tandem repeat (STR) profiles. STR profiles are routinely used either to associate or exclude potential donors of forensic biological evidence. The typing of forensic reference samples has become more demanding, especially with the requirement in some jurisdictions to DNA profile arrestees. The Rapid DNA (RDNA) platform, the RapidHIT® ID (IntegenX®, Pleasanton, CA), is a fully automated system capable of processing reference samples in approximately 90min with minimal human intervention. Thus, the RapidHIT ID instrument can be deployed to non-laboratory environments (e.g., booking stations) and run by trained atypical personnel such as law enforcement. In order to implement the RapidHIT ID platform, validation studies are needed to define the performance and limitations of the system. Internal validation studies were undertaken with four early-production RapidHIT ID units. Reliable and concordant STR profiles were obtained from reference buccal swabs. Throughout the study, no contamination was observed. The overall first-pass success rate with an "expert-like system" was 72%, which is comparable to another current RDNA platform commercially available. The system's second-pass success rate (involving manual interpretation on first-pass inconclusive results) increased to 90%. Inhibitors (i.e., coffee, smoking tobacco, and chewing tobacco) did not appear to affect typing by the instrument system; however, substrate (i.e., swab type) did impact typing success. Additionally, one desirable feature not available with other Rapid systems is that in the event of a system failed run, a swab can be recovered and subsequently re-analyzed in a new sample cartridge. Therefore, rarely should additional sampling or swab consumption be necessary. The RapidHIT ID system is a robust and reliable tool capable of generating complete STR profiles within the forensic DNA typing laboratory or with proper training in decentralized environments by non-laboratory personnel.
Keywords: GlobalFiler(®) Express; RDNA; Rapid DNA; RapidHIT(®) ID; STR.
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