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Not All Swabs are Created Equal

By June 20, 2023October 10th, 2023No Comments

A common question we get from our customers is why we require the use of our particular swabs as opposed to using any other type of swab. We understand that time can be a limiting factor and it seems like it would be easier to just grab any old swab from a drawer or the pharmacy to save on shipping time. If all swabs were created equal, then we would wholeheartedly agree. But, in reality, different swabs do not perform the same when it comes to collecting and stabilizing DNA. Swabs can differ by the material used to make them (cotton, foam, metal) and even how the swab is structured (spun, bristle, etc.). All these differences are due to the fact that different swabs are optimized for different applications including dog genetic testing.

So, why do some companies allow a range of swab choices or even sample types (blood, declaws, etc.) that they will accept for dog disease testing? This is directly related to the laboratory process used by each company to recover DNA for testing. To extract DNA from different swabs or sample types requires a more complex and time-consuming extraction process that only adds to the cost and time required for testing. At GenSol, our driving principles are to be fast, accurate, and affordable. Here’s how using our particular swabs allows us to meet those goals:

 

Speed

We have tested many swab types (foam, cotton, brushes, etc.) over the years and have developed a specific swab type that fits our unique rapid DNA extraction that requires minimal time for processing. Other labs can take hours to days to extract DNA from a sample before they can even begin the testing process. We believe that in order to make health care and breeding decisions, customers need results sooner than later and our swabs help us get a result faster than anyone else in the industry.

 

Accuracy

At GenSol we accept only cheek swabs using our swabs that have been developed and tested to provide the best stability during transport and the highest level of DNA recovery. By using a single sample type and specially designed swabs, we are able to process all samples quickly using robotics which eliminates many sources of human error. Plus, since DNA is the same no matter where you get the sample from, there is no need to submit other sample types to get the result you need. Since we are unable to guarantee the same DNA recovery with other swabs and sample types, it makes sense to streamline our process.

 

Affordability

It not only saves time to use a single swab and sample type but it also contributes to us offering some of the lowest cost testing in the industry. Although we always look to provide as much flexibility to customers as we can, using different swabs and sample types would increase the cost of processing due to the need for a more complicated extraction process that would accommodate many different sample types. By controlling our process, we are able to keep our costs low and pass those savings on to our customers. Since our beginning, we have always believed that making our tests as affordable as possible means more accessible testing and healthier pets.

 

At GenSol, testing has always been a joint effort with our customers who perform the first part of our process by taking a good sample. As we’ve learned, a good swab is important to get that good sample. Without good samples and a standardized process, we wouldn’t be able to provide the fastest and most affordable testing in the industry. We do understand the pressures of time and that’s why we often suggest to customers to order kits early so that they are on hand when you’re ready for testing. Our kits do not expire so they can be used at your convenience. Thanks for being a part of the process and helping us achieve our mission of making genetic testing more accessible for better pet health and dog breeding decisions.