Background: Dried blood spots are a common medium for collecting patient blood prior to testing for malaria by molecular methods. A new shaped filter device for the quick and simple collection of a designated volume of patient blood has been designed and tested against conventional blood spots for accuracy and precision.
Methods: Shaped filter devices were laser cut from Whatman GB003 paper to absorb a 20 μl blood volume. These devices were used to sample Plasmodium falciparum infected blood and the volume absorbed was measured volumetrically. Conventional blood spots were made by pipetting 20 μl of the same blood onto Whatman 3MM paper. DNA was extracted from both types of dried blood spot using Qiagen DNA blood mini or Chelex extraction for real-time PCR analysis, and PURE extraction for malaria LAMP testing.
Results: The shaped filter devices collected a mean volume of 21.1 μl of blood, with a coefficient of variance of 8.1%. When used for DNA extraction by Chelex and Qiagen methodologies the mean number of international standard units of P. falciparum DNA recovered per μl of the eluate was 53.1 (95% CI: 49.4 to 56.7) and 32.7 (95% CI: 28.8 to 36.6), respectively for the shaped filter device, and 54.6 (95% CI: 52.1 to 57.1) and 12.0 (95% CI: 9.9 to 14.1), respectively for the 3MM blood spots. Qiagen extraction of 200 μl of whole infected blood yielded 853.6 international standard units of P. falciparum DNA per μl of eluate.
Conclusions: A shaped filter device provides a simple way to quickly sample and store a defined volume of blood without the need for any additional measuring devices. Resultant dried blood spots may be employed for DNA extraction using a variety of technologies for nucleic acid amplification without the need for repeated cleaning of scissors or punches to prevent cross contamination of samples and results are comparable to traditional DBS.
Polley, S.D.; Bell, D.; Oliver, J.; Tully, F.; Perkins, M.D.; Chiodini, P.L.; González, I.J. The design and evaluation of a shaped filter collection device to sample and store defined volume dried blood spots from finger pricks. Malaria Journal (2015) 14 (1) [DOI: 10.1186/s12936-015-0558-x]