Effects of Histological Staining on the Analysis of Human DNA from Archived Slides


  • Funded by a grant from the Capability Research Fund administered by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, New Zealand.

Additional information and reprint requests:
Joanne L. Simons, Ph.D.
Institute of Environmental and Science Research (ESR) Ltd.
Forensic Biology Group, Mt Albert Science Centre
Private Bag 92021, Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142
New Zealand
E-mail: joanne.simons@esr.cri.nz


Abstract:  Archived slides of cell smears treated with histological stains for sperm detection are often the only source of DNA available when cold cases are reopened. There have been conflicting reports as to the negative effects of particular histological stains on DNA recovery and quality from human cells, making stain selection an important consideration for forensic laboratories. This study investigates the effect of several staining systems on DNA recovery from histological slide samples stored from 0 to 10 weeks. DNA profiles obtained after analysis of these samples with AmpFlSTR® Identifiler™ and increased cycle AmpFlSTR® SGM Plus™ short tandem repeat (STR) profiling systems and the effects that these stains have on DNA quantity and quality over time are described. Results indicate that Christmas Tree and Hematoxylin and Eosin stains do not have significantly different effects on DNA quality after 10-week storage of slides. This research will assist scientists to select staining systems that have minimal deleterious effects on the DNA recovered.