Selection of the optimal manual method of cell free fetal DNA isolation from maternal plasma

Gabriela Repiská 1 , Tatiana Sedláčková 1 , Tomáš Szemes, Peter Celec 1  and Gabriel Minárik
  • 1 Comenius University in Bratislava Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Molecular Biomedicine, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 2 Comenius University in Bratislava Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Molecular Biology, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 3 GENETON Ltd., Braratislava, Slovakia
Gabriela Repiská, Tatiana Sedláčková, Tomáš Szemes, Peter Celec and Gabriel Minárik


Background: The cell free fetal DNA (cffDNA) present in plasma of pregnant women represents an important alternative source of DNA for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. Due to the low quantity and increased fragmentation of cffDNA, the choice of DNA extraction method is a crucial step for downstream analyses.

Methods: In our study, the three spin column-based kits for isolation of cffDNA [DNA Blood Mini Kit (DBM), DSP Virus Kit (DSP) and Circulating Nucleic Acid (CNA) Kit] were compared. Original and optimized protocol were used in comparison and applied in the two phases of the study.

Results: A statistically significant difference in performance of the kits was determined based on the comparison of genomic equivalents per mL (GEq/mL) values (p<0.0001). The GEq/mL of isolated DNA was significantly higher using CNA and DSP Kits than DBM Kit. The CNA Kit and DSP Kit did not significantly differ in the GEq/mL values, although all tested samples isolated with CNA Kit showed higher values.

Conclusions: According to our results the commonly used DBM Kit could be successfully replaced with CNA or DSP Kits. The replacement could be beneficial in qualitative as well quantitative tests (e.g., gender determination, aneuploidy detection) when the isolation yield limits subsequent analyses. However, there is an important decision to be made when switching DBM Kit for DSP or CNA Kits. The price of DBM Kit is two and six times lower than DSP and CNA Kits, respectively.

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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine ( CCLM) publishes articles on novel teaching and training methods applicable to laboratory medicine. CCLM welcomes contributions on the progress in fundamental and applied research and cutting-edge clinical laboratory medicine. It is one of the leading journals in the field, with an impact factor of over three. CCLM is the official journal of nine national clinical societies and associated with EFLM.