Evaluation of Commercial Kits for Dual Extraction of DNA and RNA from Human Body Fluids*,†,‡

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STR typing of DNA evidence can identify the donor with a high power of discrimination but cannot identify the tissue origin of a body-fluid stain. Using RNA to attribute a crime scene stain to a particular tissue may aid in reconstruction efforts. With blood from 10 donors, four DNA and RNA coextraction kits were evaluated by measuring yields and STR and mRNA profiles. T tests indicated some significant differences in kit performance. The Zymo Research ZR-Duet™ kit performed best based on average DNA (41.4 ng) and mRNA (4.07 ng) yields and was the only kit to provide complete DNA/RNA profiles for all samples. The consistency of this kit was challenged by data from additional blood and saliva donors. Further testing is advised before a superior kit is unequivocally chosen. Stand-alone DNA or RNA purification generally offers higher yield, but coextraction may still allow successful STR profiling and tissue source identification.

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