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Real-time PCR evaluation of cell-free DNA subjected to various storage and shipping conditions

Author(s): Q. Wang, Y. Cai, P. Brady and J.R. Vermeesch

In this study, we attempted to explore the factors affecting the yield of cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) obtained from maternal blood samples, including the use of different types of collection tubes, the interval between sample processing, and sample shipping under extreme weather conditions. Blood samples were drawn into K3EDTA tubes and cell-stabilizing tubes (Streck blood collection tube, BCT) from women pregnant with male fetuses. Real time PCR was used to amplify a β-actin gene fragment to measure the total plasma cell-free DNA concentration, while an SRY gene fragment was used to quantify the cffDNA. The samples in the K3EDTA tubes revealed a decreased quantity of SRY after 5 days of transportation, with a median of 25.9 copies/mL.