How to sample – Paternity testing and relationship testing

Non- Standard samples do not always provide a good source of DNA, reducing the possibility for obtaining a DNA profile. It is normally dependent on the sample type and good storage conditions. When using biological samples, moulding is one of the biggest problems due to the fact that damp storage conditions are allowed. In order for this to be avoided it is important that the sample is either air dried sufficiently or stored in a paper bag rather then a plastic one.

Apart from the storage, there is also a High, Medium or Low probabilty of success in extracting DNA for each type of sample. Non- standard samples accepted and their success rates to obtain DNA are:

  1. Toothbrushes (High)
  2. Blood (High)
  3. Hair with roots (Medium)
  4. Nails (Low)
  5. Stamps (Very low)
  6. Envelopes (Very low)

High (80%): Samples such as fresh blood, toothbrushes and body tissue can provide an excellent source of DNA, provided that the sampling is done properly and stored appropriately.

Medium (50% - 60%): For samples such as Hair with roots or cigarette butts the success rate is influenced by a number of variables including heavy use and storage conditions.

Low (20% - 30%): For samples such as nails, teeth or bone, where DNA extraction is relatively difficult and time consuming process. These normally require specialised processing, which may still produce negative results in most of the cases.

Very Low (<10%): Samples which may inhibit PCR reaction coupled with the low amount of DNA found in stamps and envelopes. These are normally not routinely carried out and are not recommended.

Sampling for Bird Sexing

  1. A plastic bag should be used to collect the feathers.
  2. The plastic bag should be labelled appropriately with the name of the bird, species, ring number and date of sample collection.
  3. Three or more plucked chest feathers should be used for each bird.
  4. A few drops of blood can also be supplied for testing.
  5. Sample submission form should be filled in appropriately and must accompany all samples sent.
  6. Samples should be delivered / sent to the laboratory as soon as possible (ideally not more than 48 hours after sample collection).
  7. Samples should never be exposed to extremes of temperature (e.g. in a freezer or left in the sun in a car).

Sampling for Molecular Diagnostics

MLSBioDNA Ltd accepts the following samples for testing:

Some tests might require the use of special containers for the preservation of RNA so please refer to the specific test's instructions or enquire for further information.

Please send samples together with completed submission forms to the laboratory by courier or express mail. Please send your samples to the following address:

KBIC Halls 2150 - 2160,
Kordin Industrial Estate,
Paola, PLA 3000
Malta, EU

Results will ONLY be issued to the requesting medical practitioner.

Sampling for Food and Water Microbiology

Sampling in Malta can be done by one of our scientists on site. Food specimens should be sent for examination in a sterile leak proof container. Please, send 30g of specimen for each test requested. Sampling instruments such as scalpels and knives used to cut the food are to be sterile. Each sample is to be sealed properly and labelled clearly including the name of the food, name of the sampling officer, date of sampling and a unique identifier. These details should match those given on the submission form.

Samples should be transported and stored under conditions that inhibit deterioration and changes in microbial numbers. Frozen foods need to be kept frozen as far as possible while refrigerated foods should be kept below 8°C but not frozen. Hot and warm samples should be kept separately from other food samples and cooled quickly to 8°C or below. Dried and
canned foods need not be cooled but should be stored and transported at a temperature
less than 40°C.

Chilled and frozen samples should be delivered to the laboratory in an insulated container on ice, as soon as possible together with the correctly completed submission form.

Downloadable Customer Forms

Food Testing
MBDFR005 – Food testing request form

Sequencing and Genotyping
MBDFR006 – Sequencing request form
MBDFR007 – Genotyping request form

Bird Sexing
MBDFR008 - Bird Sexing request form

Molecular Diagnostics
MBDFR035 - Molecular Diagnostics request form

Paternity Testing
MBDFR003 - Paternity Testing Submission Form (English)
MBDFR003 - Paternity Testing Form (Maltese)
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback Form