DNA extraction from saliva has become increasingly popular in recent years. Saliva collection is safe and non-invasive, and saliva collection kits can be mailed to donors for self-collection at home.
DNA or RNA can be isolated from the donor or their oral microbiome and used for many applications, such as investigating infectious diseases, cancer, ancestry, population studies, genotyping, and gene expression studies.
Traditionally, challenges with saliva samples 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 can now be extracted[i].
Many collection, stabilization, and isolation methods are available, and variations in sample collection and handling can dramatically affect data quality. This article gives ten tips for sample collection, handling, and storage, to ensure you get the best results from your samples and avoid wasting time and money.