Understanding the Basics
AccuTrace is pleased to offer semen detection and infidelity testing to its clients. Many people ask why we offer this type of testing — the answer is very simple. AccuTrace’s mission is to bring Peace of Mind Through DNA Testing.
Think of the people you know or have spoken with who have expressed doubts about their relationships with their partners. They suspect infidelity; however, they do not have any proof. If an affair is suspected, the question relating to this suspicion begins interfering with the relationship as a whole, causing doubt and distrust. AccuTrace offers an answer to this question so that closure can be obtained, and the relationship can move forward based on solid facts.
Semen Detection Test
The semen detection test subjects stains to testing to prove whether the stain is derived from semen. This is accomplished by performing an acid phosphatase color test. Acid phosphatase is secreted by the prostate gland into seminal fluid. A chemical test can detect the presence of acid phosphatase by producing a color reaction, thus indicating the presence of semen.
If a stain indicates the presence of semen, it is then tested for the presence of spermatozoa. Sperm contains the actual DNA. A slide is prepared, and viewed microscopically. If enough spermatazoa is visibly detected, you can then proceed with an Infidelity Test, which is the actual DNA comparison.
You will receive a Test Report, with the following three most likely results:
- Negative: Semen was not detected, and no sperm were visible
- Positive: Semen was detected, and enough visible sperm were viewed to warrant a subsequent Infidelity Test
- Positive: Semen was detected; however, there was little or no visible sperm, usually signifying a vasectomy
AccuTrace recommends that an infidelity test for DNA comparison be performed if a positive test result is reported, and enough visible sperm are present to warrant supplemental testing. A test may be performed when no sperm is visible; however, results are not guaranteed.
The infidelity test compares the DNA present in the sperm from the semen detection sample to a reference/suspect sample. A simple buccal swab sample is all that is required for reference comparison; however, when confidentiality is at issue, non-standard samples can also be tested.
Once the reference sample is received, the DNA is extracted from both the semen detection sample and the reference sample. DNA profiles are then obtained and a comparison of the genetic systems is analyzed and interpreted. You will receive a report which either excludes the parties, meaning a non-match; or includes with an inclusion probability.
Testing for Epithelial Cells
Epithelial cells, also known as E-cells, are skin cells, sloughed off naturally by the human body. If one wants to compare cells, male or female, on a stained article, a presumptive Semen Detection Test must first be performed to locate the area of probable DNA accumulation. If an affair is suspected, this detection assists in pinpointing the suspect area and locating the DNA.
A differential extraction can then be performed to separate the male and female DNA components. As with an Infidelity Test, a simple buccal swab reference sample is all that is required for comparison purposes.
As with any test needed for legal purposes, a strict chain-of-custody must follow semen detection and/or infidelity samples if the evidence is to be used in a court of law. Generally, when legal admissibility is an issue, a private investigator, attorney representative or other disinterested third party must be hired to collect the sample, as appropriate. Most semen detection and infidelity test samples are self-collected, which are generally non-legally binding.
- Semen Detection: Average of 5 to 7 days
- Next-Day and 2-Business Day STAT options are available
- Infidelity Test: Average of 3 – 4 weeks from the time of sample receipt
Types of Samples
Clients may submit a variety of different samples for testing, dependent on their particular situation. Common articles presented for presumptive semen detection testing include:
- Bed or bath linens
- Female hygiene products
- Other types of clothing
AccuTrace is able to accept most articles for testing; however, size of the article is important. If a suspect article is too large to fit in a standard Airborne Express document box, please call AccuTrace so that we can assist you in identifying a way to submit a smaller sample of the article for testing.
Sample Submission and Storage
All samples submitted to AccuTrace for semen detection or infidelity testing must be submitted with a completed Forensic Order Form, enclosed in this resource packet. Most importantly, the client must designate on this form where the tested article should be returned, or if they prefer for AccuTrace to destroy it.
Proper storage of the article prior to submission to AccuTrace is imperative. The suspect garment should be allowed to breathe to decrease the possibility of bacterial or mold growth, both of which will destroy the DNA. Samples must not be stored in plastic, including Ziploc bags. Preferred storage materials include (depending on the size of the article):
- Plain white envelope marked with sample information
- Manila paper envelope
- Cardboard box
- Paper bag
A small portion of the suspect article will be cut out of the material for testing and to prepare the slide for microscopic analysis. If this is unacceptable, you must notify us on the Forensic Order Form. AccuTrace will use its best efforts to swab the stain detection area to gather the sperm cells for slide viewing; however, it is important to remember that the slide analysis may not be as robust, and is an inferior type of sample collection, especially if Infidelity Testing is in order.