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Quantification of DNA in Neonatal Dried Blood Spots by Adenine Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 30.11.2017 by Danielle Durie, Ed Yeh, Nathan McIntosh, Lawrence Fisher, Dennis E. Bulman, H. Chaim Birnboim, Pranesh Chakraborty, Osama Y. Al-Dirbashi
Newborn screening programs have expanded to include molecular-based assays as first-tier tests and the success of these assays depends on the quality and yield of DNA extracted from neonatal dried blood spots (DBS). To meet high throughput and rapid turnaround time requirements, newborn screening laboratories adopted rapid DNA extraction methods that produce crude extracts. Quantification of DNA in neonatal DBS is not routinely performed due to technical challenges; however, this may enhance the performance of assays that are sensitive to amounts of input DNA. In this study, we developed a novel high throughput method to quantify total DNA in DBS. It is based on specific acid-catalyzed depurination of DNA followed by mass spectrometric quantification of adenine. The amount of adenine was used to calculate DNA quantity per 3.2 mm DBS. Reference intervals were established using archived, neonatal DBS (n = 501) and a median of 130.6 ng of DNA per DBS was obtained, which is in agreement with literature values. The intra- and interday variations were <15%. The limits of detection and quantification were 12.5 and 37.8 nmol/L adenine, respectively. We demonstrated that DNA from neonatal DBS can be successfully quantified in high throughput settings using instruments currently deployed in NBS laboratories.