The use of Hemastix® and the subsequent lack of DNA recovery using the Promega DNA IQTM system

Journal of Forensic Sciences (Impact Factor: 1.16). 10/2009; 54(6):1278 - 1286. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01173.x


  Following implementation of our automated process incorporating the Promega DNA IQTM system as a DNA extraction method, a large number of blood-containing exhibits failed to produce DNA. These exhibits had been tested with the Hemastix® reagent strip, commonly used by police investigators and forensic laboratories as a screening test for blood. Some exhibits were even tainted green following transfer of the presumptive test reagents onto the samples. A series of experiments were carried out to examine the effect of the Hemastix® chemistries on the DNA IQTM system. Our results indicate that one or more chemicals imbedded in the Hemastix® reagent strip severely reduce the ability to recover DNA from any suspected stain using the DNA IQTM magnetic bead technology. The 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) used as the reporting dye appears to interact with the magnetic beads to prevent DNA recovery. Hydrogen peroxide does not seem to be involved. The Hemastix® chemistries do not interfere in any way with DNA extraction performed using phenol-chloroform. The incompatibility of the Hemastix® chemistries on the DNA IQTM system forced us to adopt an indirect approach using filter paper to carry out the presumptive test.

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