Blood samples have traditionally been considered the gold standard DNA source for genomic analysis, but obtaining blood samples is a painful, invasive, and costly procedure that must be performed by qualified personnel.
By contrast, saliva collection is safe and non-invasive, and saliva collection kits can be mailed to donors for self-collection at home. As well as the sample source, how the sample is collected, stabilized, stored, and purified is critical to the quality and quantity of DNA that can be extracted.
Previously, challenges with DNA extracted from saliva included microbial contamination and lower nucleic acid yields. However, there have been significant improvements in devices to collect saliva, and good yields of high-quality DNA can now be extracted
This article discusses the use of DNA extracted from saliva for a wide range of downstream applications