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Welcome to The Genetic Link, a blog providing new insights into DNA and RNA sample collection by DNA Genotek. DNA Genotek is a subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, Inc.

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3 reasons DNA from saliva is ideal for GWAS


Oragene research paperWith the growth of genome wide association studies (GWAS) and their need for DNA from many thousands of people, the time seemed right for us to highlight how DNA from saliva enables GWAS. DNA from saliva is allowing more researchers to achieve their recruitment numbers for GWAS studies while providing results that are equivalent to blood on downstream assays. Saliva is a highly accessible body fluid that is easy to collect when collected with Oragene. Since the launch of the Oragene product in 2004, there have been many published research studies that have shown this to be true. Recently, Bahlo et al of the Australian and New Zealand Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (ANZgene) published a paper that showcased how DNA from saliva performed on the Illumina Infinium Hap370CNV DUO microarray[1] and highlighted why it is ideal for GWAS.

Here are 3 reasons why DNA from saliva is ideal for GWAS.

  1. Increased compliance: 95% compliance rate was achieved with the Oragene saliva samples that were mailed to self-identified multiple sclerosis (MS) cases;
  2. High-quality DNA: In paired blood and saliva samples, there was no significant difference in call rates between blood and saliva DNA for the complete set of SNPs (353,203 SNPs);
  3. Proven performance: All Oragene saliva samples satisfied the call rate threshold  and Oragene saliva samples were much less likely than blood-derived DNA to fail the QC threshold in the study.

The researchers conclude that the Oragene self-collection kit enables self-collection of samples resulting in very high compliance rates while providing results that are as good as blood-derived DNA for GWAS.

Want to read the full research article? Click here to download the full document.

[1]Bahlo M et al. Saliva-Derived DNA Performs Well in Large-Scale, High-Density Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism Microarray Studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 19(3):794-798 (2010).



Im interested in this kit , how I can get here in Mexico? 
Please if you have a distributor send me the contact. 
Thanks a lot
Posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 9:25 AM by Lorena Rosales
I would like to now how much DNA can be recovered from a saliva sample. 
Thank you
Posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 10:04 AM by Macarena Gomez Lira
Thank you for your interest Lorena! Please contact us at and your direct representative will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 11:02 AM by Morgan
Hi Macarena and thank you for your question. Please contact our technical team at They will be happy to answer your question.
Posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 2:30 PM by Shauna White
The amount of DNA in human saliva varies greatly between donors and the average yield will depend on the population sampled. Typically, from a health adult we can expect to collect between 20 – 200 µg, this range is due to the natural biological variation. Other factors that affect the yield are the efficiency of the extraction method and the method of quantitation. Below are four un-related studies and the reported yields from each. These examples should give you an idea of the total yield and variability that you can expect from Oragene DNA/saliva samples. 
1. Birnboim, HC. DNA Yield with Oragene DNA. (2004) 
This study used 2 mL saliva samples from 208 donors. Samples were extracted using the Oragene Purifier method and quantified by Fluoresence/DNase assay. The median yield was 110 µg with the 25th and 75th percentiles being 62 µg and 158 µg respectively. The mean DNA yield for this study was 122.6 ± 77.5 µg 
2. Rylander-Rudqvist, T et al. Self-administered Oragene Method--A Pilot Study on the Cohort of Swedish Men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006;15(9):1742-1745. 
This study collected 2 mL of saliva from 611 men. Samples were robotically extracted using the Autopure LS system with the Puregene DNA purification kit. The mean DNA yield as measured by Picogreen was 40.3 µg (SD 36.5 µg). 
3. Rogers, NL et al. New Saliva DNA Collection Method Compared to Buccal Cell Collection Techniques for Epidemiological Studies. Am J Hum Biol. 2007;19:319-326. 
This study collected samples from 17 adults. DNA was isolated using the Oragene Purifier method and quantified by UV absorbance. The reported mean DNA yield was 154.9 ± 103.05 µg from a 2 mL saliva sample. 
4. In a recent internal study conducted at DNA Genotek (results not yet published) 450 samples were collected from 245 donors. The DNA was extracted using the Oragene Purifier method and quantified by Picogreen. The mean DNA yield was 58 ± 47 µg from a 2 mL saliva sample. 
NB: Our experience is that samples extracted using automation in most cases will yield slightly lower amounts of DNA. Also, quantification by UV absorbance overestimates the amount of DNA due to the fact that absorbance can not discriminate between DNA and RNA, as such we strongly recommend quantification using a fluorescent dye which is DNA specific.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:34 PM by Mike Tayeb
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